The reality of a professional rugby player's diet is disgusting at times
Former Munster fly-half Johnny Holland is on the latest episode of our rugby podcast The Hard Yards along with James Downey.
Holland suffered an unfortunate injury where he tore his hamstring from the bone, and while he returned to play afterwards, the lasting effects of the injury meant that he had to hang up his boots at the age of 25.
As he admits himself, he was never the biggest man in the world and used to struggle to maintain a weight appropriate for playing rugby, and after a few weeks of hard training, his weight would begin to drop off. Which is a big problem for a rugby player.
On The Hard Yards, Holland revealed the lengths he had to go to in his diet to be a rugby player (listen from 29.25 below).
If you don't have time to listen to it above, here's what he said:
"It's a different sort of training," said Holland, "trying to eat that much. You can't just start one day and say, 'I'm going to eat twice as much as I did yesterday'. You can't do it, like. You have to step it up gradually. At the start it was a pain but I got used to it and it became second nature to me."
"There were times you were sitting in front of a plate and you were basically force-feeding yourself or times when you had to have another snack and you just don't want to. There's no freedom with that either - you've to eat constantly.
"You'd be out with someone or you'd have to eat food or you'd call over to someone... I remember, I'd be calling over to friends and I'd be bringing a bowl of porridge or a shake. It was sad, like, but it was just stuff that I had to do."