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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Cian Tracey Twitter Email

Netflix’s gaze and Metallica’s metal helping prop stars Andrew Porter and Finlay Bealham to bond

Old comrades: Andrew Porter, left, and Finlay Bealham of Ireland leave the field after their game against Italy in Chicago in 2018. The pair have allowed Neflix's cameras into their homes. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Andrew Porter is one of the only Ireland players who has granted the Netflix documentary makers access to his life away from the rugby pitch.

Along with Finlay Bealham, the prop duo have given a little extra behind the scenes, and considering they are two of the more interesting characters in the squad, it will be fascinating to see what the producers come up with. Not that Porter has anything too exciting to report just yet, as he offered a brief flavour of what’s been going on.

“I’m not sure if they’re having much fun when they follow me around,” he smiled.

“All I do is bring them to the gym and stuff. It was an exciting day for me but I’m sure it wasn’t for them. It’s been interesting having them in camp.

“I don’t know, we’re probably not giving them as much access as other teams but they’re still getting good content, I hope. I’m looking forward to seeing how the whole thing will turn out.

“I kind of put my hand up (for it). I thought I may as well. What’s the harm in it? I’m looking forward to seeing how the other lads get on with it as well.

“It does show people what actually goes on behind the scenes and it shows maybe a personal side of rugby and it lets people see that we’re all still human at the end of the day and behind the curtain of game day and stuff. I think it’s important to show people who we are as well as the work that goes into big performances.”

With the cameras following Porter at home, it has taken some adjusting, both for them and those closest to him.

​“There’s a few lads obviously with myself doing it,” the loosehead explained.

“When I brought them home they are trying to get as much information as they can but some people are … I would be the same, I wouldn’t be as comfortable chatting in front of a camera and I’ve had a bit more experience of that than my family or my missus. Some of them are happy to talk away and others are a bit more reserved.”

Porter and Bealham have plenty in common outside of being Ireland’s starting props in Rome this afternoon. They bond over their shared love of heavy metal music, which is handy as the Ireland squad is not exactly packed full of lads with the same taste.

“It’s just the two of us,” Porter laughed.

“Ciarán Ruddock (strength and conditioning coach) as well actually. Whenever I have my music on he knows it’s me.

“Ah, the classics. Pantera, Metallica. Anything. I listen to it going to sleep!”

Listening to heavy metal music is also part of Porter’s pre-game routine, as he explained: “I have my own process on game day. I try not to get into the heavier music too early because then I just get amped up too soon. I would listen to it on game day. It’s one of my processes and how I build into the hype of the game.

“Usually when we’re getting on the bus, except sometimes it’s a bit heavier than Metallica, it’s a bit of death metal.

“I put it on the gym there the other day and within a minute it got turned off, probably less than a minute. I get reined in fairly quickly around here.”

With James Ryan in charge of the tunes, Porter and Bealham don’t often get their way, but their fellow prop Tadhg Furlong is usually on hand to help them out.

“He’s very good for a few tunes before we go out for training. The jukebox, bringing the tunes. He’s good for getting the energy up before training.

“Even though he’s actually not training himself, he’s still here working away himself. He’s still putting in hard work to get back training. He’s here and giving the lads a bit of energy, doing his rehab, so it’s great having him around as well.”

In terms of matters on the pitch, Porter and Bealham have struck up a good partnership in Furlong’s absence, as they look to continue that against Italy today.

“Finlay has done incredibly well,” Porter added.

“He’s an incredible trainer and that shows in the games as well. All the work he puts into training comes to fruition in games.

“They are big shoes to fill with Tadhg out at the moment and he’s stepped up incredibly well.

“He’s an incredible scrummager, incredible ball player. You saw the try Hugo Keenan scored against France, I’m fairly sure Finlay designed that play himself. He’s an incredible bloke on and off the pitch really.”

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