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Ulster Rugby Les Kiss exclusive: Kiss and tell questions for Les...

By Steven Beacom

SB: Childhood sporting hero? LK: Growing up in Australia, the national sport is cricket so it would have been Dennis Lillee, Greg Chappell or Jeff Thomson.

SB: Coaches you admire in any sport?

LK: Wayne Bennett (the most successful coach in Australian Rugby League history and the new England Rugby League coach). He coached me for two games in my career and I probably changed as a person in those two games. I really related to what he was about as a coach. He had a simple approach to coaching, was very good at what he did and was a good man overall. I admire someone like Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger too. To stay that long in a high pressure situation says a lot about the man. He is someone I would like to meet. He has done some special things and I hope he gets a few more trophies because I think he deserves it.

SB: Favourite football team?

LK: Chelsea. When I was coaching with the London Broncos there was a guy playing for Chelsea who looked like the Fonz. He was cool, played with a smile on his face and was a great footballer. That was Gianfranco Zola (below). Every time I saw him I loved him so I supported Chelsea. A lot of mates back in Australia support Liverpool and Man United. I haven't been to Stamford Bridge yet so I'd like to do that in the future.

SB: What do you like to do away from rugby?

LK: I like travelling and my wife and I like to go to cafés and find moments together. I get on a road bike when I can to explore. I also read a lot of books.

SB: What type of books do you read?

LK: Everything from psychology books to Alfred Hitchcock and I like to read a lot of books that are historically based on the basis of understanding places I am coaching in. I have been fascinated about the history here. It is a delicate situation. It is fascinating to learn about the challenges Ireland and Northern Ireland have to face but overall the beauty for me is that I'm working in a sport that transcends all that. I believe sport is a great vehicle that can drive communities to better places.

SB: Is it true that you are a vegetarian?

LK: Yes, I'm a vegetarian though I eat seafood. In 1995 I got very sick which came back to cured meats. I had a bacterial reaction to my joints which laid me up for a number of months. All I did was eat veggie food and drink juice and water for around eight months. After that I got back to beer and wine but never meat. That was 20 years ago and it is a habit and just part of my life now.

Kiss and tell questions for Les...

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