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In The Spotlight: Colm McMahon

2nd July 2013 By Munster Rugby

In The Spotlight: Colm McMahon

We catch up with Elite Development Officer Colm McMahon, who made his Munster senior debut against Ulster in September 1999.

We catch up with Elite Development Officer Colm McMahon, who made his Munster senior debut against Ulster in September 1999.

Colm retired from his Munster playing days in 2004 but was back on board in a non-playing capacity in 2009 when he joined the Domestic Game department as a Coach Development Officer. He then made the move to the Academy in 2011 as an Elite Development Officer and coached the Ireland U18 Club squad in 2012/13.

Colm talks about his own rugby experience in helping him with his every day role. “I had a little bit of a background in coaching coming into the role initially and relied on that, and brought my own playing experience into the role as well.

I played most of my adult rugby with Shannon RFC and played a couple of seasons with Munster as well, moving between backs and forwards, so that gave me another bit of experience with regards covering different areas.

There was no academy with Munster at the time I was playing and I picked up a development contract coming out of college. I retired from Munster in 2004 after playing for five seasons, and I continued to play with Shannon then for a couple of seasons.

At that time I played for Ireland Sevens and Ireland Development XV also. I lined out for the Development squad against Samoa and Japan and it just was great to be involved at that level. I was lucky enough to play in competitions in Hong Kong, Dubai and a few smaller sevens tournaments also and they were all great experiences, but I’m talking about a long time ago now!". Colm has used his sevens experience in the past number of years when taking charge of Munster Development teams playing in the Kinsale and Glasgow Seven's tournaments.

"It’s good to be able to tap into that experience but the game has changed a lot, and is changing all the time. You just need to adapt the newer skills required with some of the old stuff that works, and then work on getting the balance right.

I think there’s more opportunity now for younger guys and a very clear pathway in place. Everything is laid out for them and if they are hungry enough for it they can achieve their goals. Back in my day I think it was a little bit more left to chance and guys missed out because the structures weren’t there. But now of course you could say it is harder to break through because of increased competition for places. There’s also much more of an opportunity for movement now, guys moving from club to club to advance their career, that wasn't as prominent back in my time.

Everything has moved up a level and everyone has to specialise sooner now, focussing on rugby from an earlier age to show that it is what you want."

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