“I didn’t want to retire, but €18,000 a year is not viable”


When Greg O’Shea won the island of love in 2019, the Limerick man had a tough decision to make. He could give up his rugby career to make the most of his newfound fame and the opportunities that were sure to come his way, or he could return to Ireland to pursue his dream of competing in the Olympics.

To the disappointment of many (his the island of love handsome Amber Gill surely tops this list), he chose to come home. The move paid off when he represented Ireland at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics playing rugby sevens.

But a few weeks later, the 26-year-old announced his retirement from the sport.

“Actually, I didn’t want to retire,” he says. “But with the Sevens, you only get paid €18,000 a year. It’s just not sustainable.

Worrying about money is not something one would expect from a the island of love winner, but Greg says financial worries kept him up at night.

“I always worried about money,” he admits, “and I could have made a lot of money from the island of lovebut I had to go home and start training for the Olympics.

“I’m definitely not rich. I’m not short of money, but the future isn’t settled yet.

Greg O’Shea

Part of that future is Greg’s new fitness app, Bettr with Greg, a HIIT and Pilates subscription program designed to improve physical and mental well-being.

“I’ve always been passionate about fitness,” he says. “My mum is a yoga teacher, my dad and grandpa played rugby, my parents both raced for Ireland…it’s always been a part of my life.”

Greg, who is a qualified Pilates and weight loss trainer, will lead several live workout classes per week as part of the service, which will offer a mix of bodyweight, dumbbell and kettlebell exercises as well as Pilates and yoga classes.

“It’s a big responsibility for me because it’s live. This part makes me nervous, but it will be fun.

The Bettr with Greg app is now available on iOS and Android.

What shape are you in?

Since retiring about six months ago, I have lost about 10 kg. I’m probably the skinniest I’ve been since my teenage years, simply because I don’t train as much or follow a full-time rugby program.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I don’t eat sweets or snacks. I don’t have candy or chocolate or anything like that in the house.

What are your most guilty pleasures?

Pizza. I would say I have two pizzas a week. I can’t get away from Dominoes. Forge Pizza in Dundrum is also very good.

How do you relax?

I love going to the sauna. I am a member of Eden One Spa and Health Club in Ballsbridge. I like to go there and sit alone in the sauna. It helps me relax.

Who are your sports heroes?

Kobe Bryant and Katie Taylor – she is probably the best Irish athlete of all time.

What is your favorite smell?

A bakery in the morning.

Photo: @gregoshea / Instagram
Photo: @gregoshea / Instagram

When was the last time you cried?

Early December.

What are your least favorite traits in others?

Rudeness and bad manners. I despise them.

What traits do you like least about yourself?

I am an overthinker and a perfectionist. He drives me crazy. The positive side of things is that I do a lot of things, but I’m still stressed.

do you pray?

I do not. I’m more into protest.

What would brighten your day?

Dogs. I don’t have one myself, but any dog ​​makes me instantly happy. And my little nephew and godson Tommy. He’s only a year old and he’s a bottle of joy.

Has climate change had an impact on your way of life?

If I can walk, run or ride my bike somewhere instead of driving, I try to do it. I do my little part like everyone else.

Which quote inspires you the most and why?

I have a tattoo on my ribs that I did in fifth grade that says, ‘You want something, go get it’. Basically, that means if you want something serious enough, you have to pursue it and work for it. In all honesty, it has worked for me so far.

What is your favorite place in the world?

As a vacation destination, Whistler in Canada for skiing, but my favorite place in the world is with my family.


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