Ireland second-row Kieran Treadwell admits his fiancee played a big role in his return to Test rugby after five years away from the highest level.
Treadwell’s comeback to the international arena came earlier this year in the Six Nations during his side’s clash with Italy, where he scored off the bench.
Since then, the Ulster star has frequently made appearances off the bench and could earn a start against Fiji this weekend in the Autumn Nations Series.
Focus on enjoying the game
The 27-year-old revealed that pre-match text messages from his fiancee changed his perspective from feeling the pressure to perform to simply enjoying the game.
“When I first came in I was quite young, so when I didn’t get the call for the next camp it was quite tough to take for me because my focus was ‘I need to get picked’,” said Treadwell.
“I used to put a lot of personal pressure on myself. I was very much outcome-based in what I did, whereas nowadays I really enjoy going through the process of getting better.
“It was actually my fiancee that said it. She would text before each of my games, ‘good luck’ or whatever. Once she texted, ‘go out and enjoy yourself’.
“And I remember looking at it and thinking, ‘yeah, I will.’ That was the trigger for me.
“Obviously there is the pressure of a big occasion.
“But you have to remember to go out there and enjoy it and play the best rugby you can because you’ve been selected for a reason.”
Treadwell won three caps for Ireland under Joe Schmidt in 2017 but had to wait until this year to add to his tally of Test caps.
Eyeing a World Cup spot
Like most Test players at the moment, his goal is to book his ticket to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, but he insists his focus is on the Fiji game as he takes it week by week.
“It was a bit unexpected to get that inclusion for the Six Nations,” said the Carshalton-born forward.
“And then I just thought to myself, ‘I have a taste for this. I’m not letting this go again. I’ve got to keep on performing’.
“I’ve always wanted to play at the highest level and that, to me, is the highest level, the World Cup. It’s massive.
“It’s obviously in the back of my mind, it’s a goal but I’m very much focused on the weekend and hopefully the rest will look after itself.”
Following the Test against Fiji this weekend, Ireland line up against Australia for their final game of the year.
READ MORE: Autumn Nations Series: Jack Conan wants Ireland to build on Springbok win
The article Ireland: Kieran Treadwell reveals the role his fiancee had in Test rugby return appeared first on Planetrugby.com.