Munster's Ben Healy enjoying life at number ten

Siadbh Redmond

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Munster's Ben Healy enjoying life at number ten

Munster out-half Ben Healy in action against the Scarlets in the Guinness PRO14 this season

MUNSTER out-half Ben Healy is making huge waves in the province through his recent outings in the Guinness PRO14 competition.

The number 10 has proved Munster's match winner in a number of their recent games.

Growing up in Tipperary, rugby was always a key part of Ben Healy's youth.

“My dad played up until his early thirties, and I have a brother who is four years older than me, who started playing around the age of seven or eight, so I followed on and started playing at that age as well," Healy explained.

Attending Glenstal Abbey was a crucial experience for him, where in his Leaving Cert year he captained the team to their first ever Munster Schools Rugby Senior Cup win in 2018.

“It was great to get a taste of success at such a young age, so that gave me great confidence going into the Munster Academy," Healy said.

In 2019, Healy had to opportunity of playing for the Irish Under-20’s squad during their Six Nations campaign.

“U20’s is played at such a high level, that it is very similar to a Pro-14 game in intensity, physicality and atmosphere, so it was a great stepping stone and another place where I met great coaches”.

Being so young and playing in such an important position as number 10, Healy has found his biggest influence to be his father, Fergal who coached him at underage level.

“You need people who you can talk to, not just about rugby, but all the off-field stuff that comes with it too," he said.

He has bounced around many positions through-out his career, with last few years being between scrum-half and out-half.

“I’ve always wanted to play scrum-half, but during 4th year in school, I grew too tall and settled into the number 10 position, which has worked in my favour so far”.

Healy has never looked out of place at out-half, with his physical presence being evident throughout his performances. Since moving up from the Munster Academy, he has hit the ground running in terms of consistent kicking and control of the game. 

Healy explained that “when I was younger I did a lot of kicking, but in the past year or so I have learned that you can almost do too much before games, so the practice I did when I was younger has stood to me until this day."

Munster’s newest combination of Craig Casey at number 9 and Healy at 10 has excited Munster fans this season.

The pair have been lucky enough to have played with each other since Under-16’s as Healy says: “We know each other pretty well at this stage and he’s pretty similar to me in the way he prepares himself for games, so that we are both on the same page for the match”.

The out-half showed his composure in several crunch fixtures this season, most notably his conversion of an 81st minute penalty off the bench during their opening fixture to Scarlets, which secured Munster a dramatic win.

“For me, I don’t find too much of a difference between coming off the bench or starting, your role doesn’t change even in pressure situations," he added.