Jacob Stockdale’s Way Of “Switching Off” Before Test Matches Brings Back Childhood Memories


Ireland and Ulster winger Jacob Stockdale has revealed how he likes to spend his time ahead of big Test matches for Ireland – reliving childhood memories by assembling LEGO.

The 22-year-old winger burst on the international scene this time last year with a try against South Africa and a brace against Argentina on his way to a record-breaking season.

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Stockdale has taken on and scored against some of the best teams in the world, never looking out of place on the international scene despite being so young and inexperienced. Chilling out in the team hotel before game putting some lego together seems to have helped.

“I was thinking, ‘What can I do? What will take four or five hours that isn’t physically strenuous?’” Stockdale says.

“I was in a bookshop and there was a Lego set so I said I’d give it a try and I became obsessed with it.”

Stockdale’s most recent LEGO project was Han Solo’s Millenium Falcon from Star Wars, which he says took him seven hours to build. With over 5000 pieces, LEGO sets don’t come much more difficult. He’s even got a special room in his house for his completed works.

“What I usually do is buy one kit at a time, build it and then I put it up in my house. I’ve got a converted attic and I’m turning into a nerd room, like a nerd paradise. It’s coming along.

“Right now I’ve just got five or six big bits – the Millennium Falcon, Yoda’s Starfighter, I’ve got the New York skyline in LEGO, things like that. I’m adding bits and pieces to it but it’s very early stages.”

The Ulsterman didn’t realise how beneficial it would be to him before a game originally, but now sees it as perfect “switch-off”

“That didn’t really occur to me before. I just thought I enjoyed LEGO, I enjoyed building it. But when you’re building that the night before a game, you finish and you go, ‘That’s three or four hours where I literally haven’t thought about the game at all.

“It helps me to switch off and then switch back on again when I finish it. It didn’t occur to me at all whenever I first started it that that would be a benefit, but it is.”