IT wasn’t the 21st birthday celebration that Enya Breen had envisioned at the start of the year.
Instead of celebrating with her friends in college in Limerick on Thursday, April 23rd, the Irish rugby international spent her birthday at home in Gortbrack, Castletownshend with her family.
‘It was different alright,’ Breen says.
‘I thought I would be up in college with my friends, but obviously with the situation that’s going on at the moment that’s impossible.
‘It was nice to be able to spend it with my family, to be with all the people that I love here at home. We had a nice BBQ in the garden so it wasn’t too bad.’
The third-year UL physio student has been home in West Cork for the past two months, but she hasn’t been idle. Enya is continuing her rehab from an ankle ligament injury she picked up in January, while college work was also filling up her time up until last weekend. It allowed her build a routine.
‘We were lucky enough that we didn’t have any college exams this semester, instead we were trying to finish off assignments and we had a presentation last week too,’ she explained.
‘It was busy but it was nice to have something to focus on as well, it kept me occupied.
‘I finished my last assignment last Friday so already I am wondering what to do with myself for the next few weeks. It’s nice to have a bit of routine, to get some college work done after I wake up and before I go training, but I’ll have to find something to do now.’
Top of her to-do list is continuing her rehab from the ankle injury that had ruled her out for eight weeks and meant the Skibbereen RFC star missed Ireland’s opening matches in the Women’s Six Nations.
Enya sat out the 18-14 victory against Scotland, the 31-12 win against Wales and the 27-0 defeat to England before the championship was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘I tore ligaments in my ankle one week before the Six Nations started. It was on our second-last day of training before our opener against Scotland,’ the Irish international explained.
‘It was difficult because I was raring to go and wanted to play, but I knew the girls would do the job and everyone stepped up to the plate. It was tough not to be involved, but it did give me time to focus on my college work.
‘At the same time, doing all the rehab on my own prepared me for a situation like this where you have to do the work and train by yourself.’
Enya admits training on her own is hard and that she misses the energy she feeds off in regular training sessions, but she’s still putting in the hard yards with the hope that there will be light at the end of the tunnel this year.
In January, speaking to The Southern Star, Enya outlined how important 2020 was going to be as Ireland had the Six Nations as well as the Rugby World Cup qualifiers in September, but the latter is up in the air, while the Irish women’s historic first summer tour in late July/early August ahead of the qualifiers has also been cancelled.
‘We just have to wait and see how this all pans out. There are more important things than rugby going on right now and it’s important that is sorted before rugby comes back on,’ Enya said.
‘Until we know what’s going to happen, I’ll continue with my rehab, just to make sure everything is okay. I have time now to make sure it’s 100 per cent and that I am in tip-top shape without pressuring myself to be back for games,’ added the Munster ace.