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Greencore Munster Rugby Academy Update

13th April 2018 By The Editor

Greencore Munster Rugby Academy Update

Academy winger Calvin Nash scores against the Southern Kings.

Elite Player Development manager Peter Malone runs the rule over the last six weeks in the Academy with the province’s promising young players playing for Munster, Munster A, the Ireland Sevens and U20s teams, and with their clubs in the All Ireland League.

Calvin Nash and Jack Stafford touring South Africa with the senior team…

“I’m delighted for those two guys, it’s a great experience for them to take the opportunity while they’re there to learn from the senior players in camp for the two weeks and how to prepare and deal with that travel situation. Calvin scored a good try against the Southern Kings, he’s playing well and has progressed nicely this year. He’s got a good bit to go in his game and I’m sure he’s aware of that. Jack Stafford has made massive strides, he was converted from out-half just 18 months ago at this stage and he’s now got three PRO14 caps after coming off the bench again last week. He has also played in the B&I Cup, played for the Ireland U20s so, again, he’s got more of his game to come but he’s working very hard.”

Shane Daly in Hong Kong with the Ireland 7s….

“Shane has had a great campaign. He has definitely benefited from the experience and I think it has been a real positive in his rugby development. There are another few tournaments to go before we get Shane back into a Munster jersey for next season and hopefully the experience with the Ireland Sevens will stand to him.He’s doing work experience at the moment through his college course in UCC so he’s up in Dublin while he trains with the Ireland Sevens. It has been managed very well between ourselves, UCC and Irish rugby. Ireland were desperately unlucky to lose their semi-final in Hong Kong, they had two chances to finish the game off but missed both of them and the Japanese guys came back to score in injury time so it must have been heartbreaking for those guys who have worked so hard.”

Jack O’Sullivan impresses with the Ireland U20s…

“I’m delighted for Jack, he won two Man of the Match awards in the 6 Nations and he won a rugby award for UCC last week so he had a super 6 Nations and really showed his potential. He’s back playing with UCC in the All Ireland League and preparing for the summer’s World Cup. I think a few of our guys had their moments in the 6 Nations, by the end of it Diarmuid Barron had forced his way into the squad, James McCarthy played well in the early games winning the Man of the Match in the Italy game and then just missed out on selection. We felt James French did well towards the end of that tournament and while we didn’t have massive numbers, a few guys stood up in some key positions. Hopefully those guys will go to the World Cup and maybe one or two more if they perform in the AIL in the next couple of weeks.”

Munster clubs excelling in the All Ireland League…

“I think it’s a real positive for us. In Division 1A you’ve got Cork Con and Garryowen really hammering for a play-off spot, in 1B you’ve got Shannon possibly getting promotion but at least the play-offs with UCC. I know UL Bohs and Dolphin are at the other end of it but there are two Munster teams in each of the top two divisions really progressing so I think for us that’s a great sign. If Munster players are playing with their clubs, which is a massive part of our culture and ethos, and winning with their clubs it’s a good sign and hopefully that keeps coming and we can keep supporting it.”

Losing out to Leinster A in the British and Irish Cup quarter-final…

“It was disappointing. I felt the effort and the application was excellent but unfortunately we weren’t accurate on a few occasions, we had probably 12 or 13 opportunities in the Leinster 22 and we didn’t convert any of them. Leinster then had four or five in our 22 and took two of them so in the end that was probably the difference. We played well in patches and our effort and application was fine but when we got into the 22 we didn’t finish those opportunities and that’s where we struggled a little bit all season. To me that was the difference between the two teams, they were a bit more accurate in their scoring zone and came away with the result.”

Injury update…

“Liam O’Connor is out for the season but Vincent O’Brien returned this week. Fineen Wycherley got injured against the Wild Titans last month and Gavin Coombes got injured in our game against Ulster A. Gavin is two weeks off and Fineen maybe three to four weeks off coming back. Craig Casey is a long-term guy that has been very unfortunate with injury but, realistically, our target is to hopefully get him back fit before the end of the season. He has been excellent during his injury but it has been tough for him.”


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