Rory Best tells RTÉ's We Become Heroes that he's not certain he would have made it as a professional rugby player if he was starting today.
The Craigavon native played 218 times for Ulster, as well as earning 124 Ireland caps, before retiring after the 2019 World Cup.
Speaking on RTÉ's We Become Heroes Podcast, Best admits that the game has changed and he might not catch his break if he was playing nowadays.
"It's something I often think about and I'm not sure," he said.
"The reality is I nearly didn't make it through anyway, with missing out on the national academy whenever I was leaving school.
"I went off to university in England and participated in some activities that weren't conducive to being a professional rugby player.
"I loved my time at Newcastle University and probably got a more rounded experience than the guys that were in the academy.
"I look at it now and wonder if I would be picked up as a good rugby player who could develop his athletic ability - my worry is that isn't possible.
"I worry about this idea of forcing people into the gym. That wasn't me. I used to put weights down on my school programme, instead of a study period, but I wouldn't go to weights; I'd go out and kick the ball around, or pass against the post.
"I just loved being outside with the ball, playing around. I'm not 100% sure that I would tick enough boxes now, but hopefully there's still that system to pick up people that can be developed into an athlete."
We Become Heroes is a podcast hosted by RTÉ Sport journalist Marie Crowe, featuring some of Ireland's biggest sports stars.