Caelan Doris is the present and future of Irish Rugby. At 23 years old he is wise beyond his years, yet commands a warmth and understanding that is unexpected for such a young man in the prime of his life.
Caelan spoke to me about his how he found his way into rugby and what life was like growing up. He shares some keen insights of life in the west of Ireland as son of parents who are qualified therapists.
After bursting onto the scenes for Leinster at an early age, Caelan was propelled into the Irish squad and made his anticipated debut against Scotland. A debut that lasted 4 minutes as a result of a knock to the head which left Caelan concussed. little did we know that concussions would become prevalent in the coming year or so. Caelan's main concern was his long term health and if he was causing some longstanding damage.
In a year where he was a strong favourite to play for the British and Irish Lions, Caelan made a very mature decision to take a step back from rugby and do whatever it took to ensure his brain and body were healthy and able to play the game he loves. With an undergrad in psychology from UCD and considering his experience with his family along with the latest documentation of previous world cup winners diagnosed wtih dementia Caelan knows all too well how important it is to protect his brain.
This discussion is a reminder of how important it is to do what is right for you and your life. What's more, to share any issues or worries you may have with others, and to remember that a problem shared is a problem halved.
Caelan is working closely with Childline and looking ahead to an awareness campaign in the coming months.
An inspiration to all, this is Caelan Doris story