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Fitness & Health

18th Oct 2022

“It was honestly like wrestling a vending machine” – Greg O’Shea on his new fitness series

Patrick McCarry

Greg O'Shea

“He picked me up like I was a baby!”

As a former Ireland Sevens player and an Olympian, Greg O’Shea would fancy his fitness chances against most comers.

Coming off a two-week holiday though, and travelling by planes, trains and automobiles, though, he admits his fitness edge was not at its’ sharpest. When he was faced off against a Scarlets rugby squad that contained a few British & Irish Lions stars, he was given little to no mercy.

With rugby experience in Munster and the Ireland Sevens programme, O’Shea was fronting a new series, in conjunction with World Rugby, called ‘Rugby Fit’. During the pre-season preparations for six clubs, including Newcastle Falcons, Perpignan and Edinburgh, the former Love Island winner was put through the wringer. In fairness, he got exactly what he was looking for.

On the latest House of Rugby [LISTEN from 54:15 below], O’Shea recalled going up against the likes of Leigh Halfpenny and Jonathan Davies in some tough, unforgiving wrestling face-offs.

Greg O'Shea

Greg O’Shea on wrestling Wales and Lions stars

Having been put through his paces at several clubs, across the UK and France, the final stop for Greg O’Shea on the Rugby Fit series, for now, was Scarlets.

The 2017 PRO12 victors are hoping to turn some heads in the United Rugby Championship and Challenge Cup. They were undertaking some gruelling pre-season sessions when O’Shea, [not so] fresh from his holidays, clocked on.

“I actually wrestled Leigh Halfpenny, over the summer,” O’Shea began.

“I’d just come off the back of a two-week bender with the lads. I was in Belgium for the Tomorrowland, then I was in Mykonos for a week and a half. I then flew from Mykonos to Bristol and got a train up to where Scarlets are.

“So, I obviously wasn’t in good shape, at the time. I had to wrestle Leigh Halfpenny, Jonathan Davies, who was honestly like wrestling a vending machine. It was a joke, man! Jonathan was laughing at me, any time I went to take him down. It was like giants against a kid. And I wrestled Aaron Shingler, as well. He picked me up like I was a baby!

“To see these guys up close and what they are like… these are guys whose highlights I would have watched, growing up, and here I am wrestling against them.”

“It was a mixed experience, then?” asked House of Rugby co-host Lindsay Peat. “You got to meet your heroes, but they demolished you.”

“They kicked the crap out of me, yeah!” O’Shea responded.

The Limerick native spoke for a while with Halfpenny, during his visit, and is glad the Welsh star is back playing regularly and slotting big kicks for Scarlets.



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