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Academy Update | November 2021

24th November 2021 By The Editor

Cian Hurley is one of three Academy players in South Africa with the senior squad.

Cian Hurley is one of three Academy players in South Africa with the senior squad. Inpho

Since last month’s update, three young players have joined the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy.

Since last month’s update, three young players have joined the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy.

Tony Butler, Patrick Campbell and Edwin Edogbo are the new additions with more info on the trio here.

On the injury front, Jonathan Wren is in the final stages of his rehab and Conor Phillips has picked up a short-term injury but is expected to be back in action soon.

Paddy Kelly (hamstring) and Edwin Edogbo (achilles) will be longer-term absentees.

We spoke to Elite Player Development Officer Andi Kyriacou for the latest update on the province’s young players.

New additions…

“They have handled themselves really, really well since joining two weeks ago. Edwin spent about six weeks in the HPC during the summer and won over the guys very quickly, he’s a great kid. Everyone was clamouring for him to be part of their forward pack in training because he was going so well, which was great to see.

“Paddy and Tony are coming in off the back of a really good summer programme and some really good AIL performances for Young Munster and Garryowen.

“Again, they have come in and handled themselves really well, they’re very mature for their age. Pa managed to get onto the field for Munster A pretty early against Connacht earlier this month and acquitted himself very, very well.

“It was a really good performance from him so it’s only positive from the lads, everyone is keen to work with them and help them grow.”

Edwin and Paddy Kelly set for spell on sidelines…

“They’re massively positive and proactive in how they see this. There’s no doom and gloom, they just want to know how they can make the most of this time to physically develop.

“It’s very rare to get an opportunity like this to spend as much time as they’re going to have in the gym, which is huge for young players.

“They are going to have to be physically robust enough to play week in week out and this has given them a massive opportunity.

“Their off-field focus as well in terms of their rugby knowledge development, they’re putting together things they want to target and improve their knowledge on and we’ll be giving them tasks to improve their rugby education.

“We’ll be supporting them through this time, keeping them on task and making sure that their college work is on point too.”

Academy trio Cian Hurley, Alex Kendellen & Paddy Patterson in South Africa with the senior squad…

“It’s a great experience for them, especially going somewhere like South Africa. It’s thoroughly deserved as well, they have all been performing really well in training and they have been backing up that training work with standout performances for their clubs in the AIL.

“That’s hugely important and beneficial to the club and to the player and it’s all positive in terms of their long-term development.”

Big AIL representation in opening rounds of the season…

“For our guys here, they haven’t had that opportunity for over a year. We were very keen to make sure that the players were out playing as much as possible, it’s a huge part of how they cut their teeth and learn.

“There are some really, really good players in the league – guys who aren’t professional but put in phenomenal performances for their club week in week out and that standard really tests and challenges these young lads.

“Anything that can accelerate that growth and learning is a massive win for us.”

Video | Introducing The Academy – Mark Donnelly

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