Eoin McDevitt, Ken Early, Ciarán Murphy, Simon Hick and Mark Horgan are back with another run of Second Captains Live tonight (Mar 12) on RTÉ Two at 10.20pm.
Starting after live coverage of the Champions League game between Barcelona and Manchester City, the show mixes sport, entertainment and comedy in front of an energetic live studio audience.
“We’re really looking forward to it,” says Eoin McDevitt. “Last year we did Second Captains Live for four weeks but this time around we’ve got a six-week run and that gives it a chance to breathe a bit more.
“We’re all a bit nervous and excited about it – but that’s the way it should be and once we get started it'll be fine.
“Neil Lennon is on tonight and it’s great to have someone who is involved in sport at such a high level as our first guest. As a player and now as Celtic manager he’s experienced a lot during his career.
“We’ll also be talking to him about his time when he was playing gaelic football for Armagh, as well as covering the recent abuse he’s had to suffer. It’s not the first time that’s happened to him, unfortunately.”
Each week Eoin and the lads will be joined by three Irish sports stars and together they’ll discuss the week’s major stories, drawing on their guests’ experiences. This week the focus is on Irish rugby.
“Naturally we’ll be looking ahead to Saturday’s Six Nations’ game between France and Ireland,” he explains.
“Specifically, we’ll be talking about the possible psychological baggage Ireland may carry into the game and whether this sort of thing is a reality for top sports people.
“We’ll have a panel in the studio consisting of former Ireland and Leinster player Shane Horgan, current Leinster player Shane Jennings, and Nicky Simmons, who has over 200 caps playing hockey for Ireland.
“Between them there’s a vast amount of experience and they’ll be able to offer a great insight into what goes through the minds of players and how a sports person prepares for a really big game.”
As well as the TV show, of course, Eoin McDevitt and co are active on the Irish Times website with an audio version of Second Captains.
“The Irish Times online show is going really well,” says McDevitt. “We’re on four times a week so between that and Second Captains Live on RTÉ Two we’re being kept very busy.”