Ireland stint full of fond memories for Douglas

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Kane Douglas spent just a season in Ireland, playing for Leinster, but it’s a year that shaped his life on and off the field.

Returning to his old training ground this week, the second rower was in familiar surrounds, but preparing to be the enemy at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

Kane Douglas and wife, Jennarly, at the John Eales Medal. Photo: Getty ImagesLiving in Dublin was where Douglas proposed to now-wife Jennarly, with the pair now parents to daughter, Cleo.

“I have some great memories here, I proposed to my girlfriend at the time, she’s now my wife,” he said.

“We became pregnant here, a little baby was made here. I’ve made some great friendships, my partner is staying at Mike McCarthy’s house with him and his wife so I’ll have some great memories here and I’m really glad I did come over here but I just for family reasons and other things, I wanted to move back home.”

On the field, Douglas said his Irish stint had influenced his perception of the game, though his time with Leinster was hampered by a back injury.

Kane Douglas playing for Leinster. Photo: Getty Images“I probably packed a few more scrums than I would in Australia,” he said.

“Just the different type of rugby, a different style – more grinding, disciplined, although I still probably give away too many penalties.

“Leinster was very disciplined and very hard on that because you can’t afford to give away penalties and teams kick goals over here because you don’t get as many opportunities to score tries.

“There’s a heap of little things but a year’s experience you sort of can’t exactly say what you’ve learnt but I think I’ve gained from that experience.”

Kane Douglas in action against Harlequins. Photo: Getty ImagesWhile Douglas said he had plenty of local recommendations, from a tactical side of things, the coaches have it covered.

“I thought I’d say a few things yesterday but the coaches had already seen a heap of the things,” he said.

“I know they’re all great players, the guys I knew from Leinster. Jamie Heaslip and Devin Toner, big lineout options.

“If I can say anything I’ll try to but most of the coaches have already nailed all that sort of stuff.”

Douglas is still friends with Tadhg Furlong. Photo: Getty ImagesDouglas will be catching up with some of his former teammates over here, though they’re never far away, sharing Snapchats regularly with front rower Tadhg Furlong.

“We have a similar sense of humour. I’m always trying to crack jokes and be a bit of a dickhead, so we sort of suited hanging out together,” he joked.

“We both enjoy a feed and things like that, I think he’s a great bloke.”

Australia takes on Ireland on Sunday morning, kicking off at 4:30am AEDT, LIVE on SBS and beIn Sports 3 (Foxtel Channel 515) and streamed on SBS on Demand and Foxtel Go.