Health Scan: Fergus McFadden, Leinster and Ireland rugby player

Fergus McFadden: swims in the sea as a way of relaxing. Photograph:  ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Fergus McFadden: swims in the sea as a way of relaxing. Photograph: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan


Do you think you have a healthy lifestyle?
As a professional athlete, I need to take care of my diet and do a lot of physical exercise. Thankfully because of what I do, I have to stay in shape. The team has a nutritionist so my diet is reasonably good.

How often do you exercise?
With Leinster, I train twice a day, four days a week and would have a match at the weekend. On an intense training day, it could be a weight session for an hour and 15 minutes and then a pitch session for an hour.

Pre-season, I’d be doing more physical stuff, but once the games kick off, I need to limit injury.
Do you get your five
a day?
I don’t keep tabs on it, but I’d probably hit that mark three times a week. I love fruit. I grew up with apple trees in the garden so I’ve memories of climbing them and I got a taste for cooking apples at a young age.

Do you worry?
The older I get, the more aware I am of different risks. Recently, my good friend who I played with, Eoin O’Malley, had to retire through injury. Eye-openers like that would make me worry. But, overall, I’m pretty laid back.

What do you do to relax?
It’s great to be doing something I love but it can be fairly intense so on my time off, I love to spend it with friends and family to kind of switch off – going for a swim in the sea or going to the cinema.

What’s your unhealthiest habit?

It would probably be a takeaway or going to the chipper at the weekend, or after a big win or a birthday. I’d enjoy a few drinks.

Fergus McFadden is an ambassador for Blue September, a VHI-supported campaign highlighting male-specific cancers. This month, Irish men are urged go to the doctor “to get their man bits checked out”. See