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Hayes Set to Leave Shannon

29th June 2005 By Munster Rugby

Hayes Set to Leave Shannon

A Move to English Rugby for Tom Hayes

News this week that Shannon s captain of two years Tom Hayes was departing for the English First Division was greeted within the club with an understandable degree of disappointment. However, coupled with the disappointment of losing such an inspirational captain and player, is a sincere understanding of Tom s status and a full endorsement of his decision to join Plymouth Albion on a one year contract.

After dispensing with his services, Munster left little option for a player with Tom s talents, and Shannon s loss is Plymouth Albion s gain. Speaking this week Tom explained his decision to leave. To leave a club like Shannon is really tough, but without a professional contract in Ireland, I felt the time was right to make the move across the water. I travelled over to Plymouth last week and was very impressed with their set-up. They have made huge strides in the last 5 or 6 years having made their way from the third division up to third in the first division and there is huge ambition to break into the premiership.

After Captaining Shannon to consecutive grand slam seasons, Tom is full of admiration for the seven time AIL winning club. There are few clubs that can match Shannon s success over the years and there is such a professional attitude throughout the club that it s difficult to leave. The players and management have been a big influence on me since I joined six years ago and I am extremely grateful for their help over the years and I have no doubt that I ll be back in the colours in the future.

Plymouth Albion RFC was founded in 1875, raised from a hardcore of Devonport Dockyard Apprentices. Albion’s 128 year history includes England International greats from James Peters in 1902 to the current Director of Rugby Graham Dawe. Success has seen Plymouth Albion rise from Division 3 to National Division 1 in 3 years.

The loss of Tom Hayes has been offset somewhat by Shannon s signing of two of Munster s brightest second row prospects , Fergus Walsh and Donnacha Ryan from UCC. Both Players have international experience at U/19 level with Walsh having been part of Irelands U/19 s in South Africa recently . A native of Tralee, he was captain of the last St Munchin s side that last won the Senior schools cup two seasons ago and he is currently a member of the , Geoff Moylan coached , Munster U/21 squad. Donnacha Ryan has just completed his accountancy studies in UCC and is a serious prospect for the future. 21 year old Ryan looks almost certain to feature for Munster over the next few years after already playing in the Celtic league last season. These two players will no doubt prove astute signings for Shannon whose ambition to further embellish there successful record continues unabated. Shannon are also hopeful of adding further to their squad in the coming months

Andrew Mc Namara Shannon RFC PRO


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