Every day we’re shining a light on one of our newest arrivals over the summer, and help you get to know each of them before we return to the field later in the month.
Today we speak to Peter Sullivan, who joined the Academy last year after some stand-out performances in the Energia All-Ireland league.
How have your first few weeks been back at The Sportsground, what has it been like?
It was great to be back, being in small groups at the start was strange, but we are back now fully and it is great to see everyone and get some ball work in. It has been good catching up with the lads after not seeing them in so long.
You are at the stage of Pre-Season where the hard work around S&C is done and dusted and because you are back as a full squad you can now get some clarity on the pitch?
There is a huge focus on our matches coming up in the next couple of weeks, the bulk of the conditioning was done on the first two weeks and then it progressed to rugby conditioning. We have been working with the ball now for the last few weeks and it has been very much rugby focused. The first week was gym and running with no sign of a ball but it is great to be back now as normal.
You joined the academy last season, you were a year in the Academy before singing your first PRO contract. Tell me about what that year was like?
All the Academy staff are brilliant to work with, Mossy and Cully are unbelievable coaches and they work on your game to get you ready for PRO level. They really focus on the details and they are driven to make every player in the Academy better. I cannot thank the Academy staff enough for getting me into this position.
You trained a bit with the Seniors last year, this must have made it easier for you to transition?
I worked with both sets of coaches last year, I got to learn from Andy, Mossy, Nigel and Pete, I was getting as much information as I could and tried to prove myself as much as I could while I had the chance.
In terms of your goals for the next couple of weeks and heading into the Interpros, I am sure you will be looking to play a part in that?
I am hoping to get a starting jersey for the next couple of games and get the head down. There is a lot of quality in the back three this year, that competition is great as it pushes you as a player and as a team to be better. I will put my best foot forward and try my best.
Once the seasons starts in October, there will naturally be more injuries and some international games. Will you be looking at this as an opportunity to claim your spot?
Training is where you prove yourself as being a consistently good player, you would hope to get those opportunities before those games come around and try get as many matches as possible.
You are from Wicklow originally, have you got to experience much of Connacht since you moved here last year?
I really love living on this side of the country, I would holiday in Connemara with my family when I was younger. Not only is the place brilliant but the people are fantastic aswell. You can get a sense of community spirit when you walk around the town. You can see how much Connacht Rugby means to the community.
Whenever we do get supporters in the Sportsground I am sure you would like to be playing in front of your home supporters whenever that may happen?
Hopefully that is not too long away, the atmosphere in the Sportsground is incredible. You can sense how much it means to everyone and you can tell that it drives the team on and it is a big motivation for the team to impress the crowd and the supporters.