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Academy Players Stepping Up | Diarmuid Barron

15th July 2020 By The Editor

Diarmuid Barron is one of five players promoted from the Academy to the senior squad.

Diarmuid Barron is one of five players promoted from the Academy to the senior squad. Inpho

Hooker Diarmuid Barron is one of five Greencore Munster Rugby Academy players who have stepped up to a senior contract with Munster following the completion of their time in the Academy.

Hooker Diarmuid Barron is one of five Greencore Munster Rugby Academy players who have stepped up to a senior contract with Munster following the completion of their time in the Academy.

Barron, Liam Coombes, Keynan Knox, Alex McHenry and Jack O’Sullivan are now members of the senior squad.

The 21-year-old is a Tipperary native and a product of Cashel RFC and Rockwell College.

He spent two years in the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy and has been playing his All Ireland League rugby with Garryowen.

A former Ireland U20 international, Barron made seven Guinness PRO14 appearances as an Academy player with his debut coming away to Cardiff Blues in September 2018.

Diarmuid Barron (centre) with John Hodnett (left) and John Ryan after the victory over Scarlets in February.

Earning a place in the Academy…

“I did two years in the sub-Academy after school and that has stood to me. I’m actually pretty thankful that I did it, it gave me plenty of time to learn and there was less pressure. Now I’m happy I did it, but at the time I wasn’t so happy! But it was something I got on with and I did my best over those two years, I was itching to get into the Academy and it was great to finally make it.”

Lining out for Rockwell College in 2016.

Spending two years in the Academy…

“I enjoyed it and learned a lot, I got to meet a lot of great people in the Academy. I made my senior debut in my first year in the Academy and played a lot of Munster A games, which was enjoyable. There was a lot of learning for me to do, I did lots of work with Colm McMahon and Greig Oliver on the pitch and liaising with Peter Malone off it. There was a lot of work with the Strength and Conditioning Coaches too.”

Diarmuid has been playing AIL rugby with Garryowen over the past number of seasons.

Making your Munster debut away to Cardiff in 2018…

“I can remember being a bit amazed alright. I got a call on the Wednesday and I was pretty happy to go over. The result went against us but it was a good experience because Cardiff Arms Park can be fairly hostile so it was cool to experience that.

“It actually gave me a bit more drive to go on an experience it again in terms of wanting to experience a big game and the whole event around it – getting my first cap was very special.”

Academy hooker Diarmuid Barron is included in the Munster squad.

Training with the senior squad earlier this year.

Being rewarded with a senior contract…

“I was delighted. With everything going on at the moment, I’m extremely lucky to go up to the senior squad. I could have done my third year in the Academy but they went out of their way to bring me up to the senior squad so I’m absolutely delighted.

“I actually live with Liam Coombes and Jack O’Sullivan so that will make the transition from Academy to senior easier. We’ve lived together the last two or three years and I get on great with Keynan [Knox] and Alex [McHenry] as well so it really was nice to go up with them. I’ve seen the effort they put in every day and it’s just reward that the four lads have moved up to the senior squad.”

Diarmuid with family after December’s win away to Connacht.

Returning to training last month…

“There has been a good buzz around because everyone was away from each other for the guts of three months and away from rugby so everyone was itching to get back and really excited about it.

“I think it’s brought back a bit of freshness to it in terms of excitement towards the game again. It’s thrown off the shackles a bit for me anyway in terms of really enjoying it and wanting to get back into it.”

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