St Munchin's Ryan triplets definitely chip off old block
There have been some great lock pairings in Munster rugby down through the years. Think Nesdale and Spillane, Foley and Keane, Foley and Lenihan, Keane and Lenihan, Lenihan and Galwey, Galwey and Langford, O'Callaghan and O'Connell and on it goes. Pushed to name the best? Eh thanks, but no thanks!
However, if you narrow it down a little, limit it, say, to club combinations, and I'll give you one to waltz with any of the above ... Meehan & Ryan... Peter Meehan and Ray Ryan ... the fulcrum of the greatest team in Young Munster club history.
They were Munster Senior Cup winners in 1990 and All-Ireland League champions three years later with a forward unit that tripped off the tongue ... Pako Fitzgerald, Mark Fitzgerald, Peter Clohessy; Meehan, Ryan; Ger Clohessy, Ger Earls and Declan Edwards/Ger Copeley.
Ryan was a member of the St Munchin's College Senior Cup team of 1981. Unfortunately, he left a year too early and missed out on a medal alongside such as Phil Danaher, Pat Murray and Geoff Moylan in the '82 winning side led by Paul 'Moose' Culhane.
It was the first time the cup had been back to Corbally since 1968 and Larry Moloney's legendary drop goal winning exploits.
Before eventually retiring in 1995, throughout a distinguished sporting career, Ray had represented Munster Schools, Munster U-20s and Ireland U- 21s. He also hurled at minor,U-21, Junior and Senior for Clare. Initially he played for Bohemians, before moving across town to link up with Meehan and 'Munsters' at Greenfields in '84.
Now, in the class of 2010, there are three chips off the old Ryan block at St Munchin's -- triplets Evan, Gavin and Darren.
All three started playing at Woodview with Thomond before joining Young Munster in 2008. Both Evan and Gavin have been called for U-18 Munster Schools trials, with Evan making the final selection at the age of 16. Evan's godfather is a certain Peter Clohessy, whose son Luke is a member of the Castletroy Senior Cup squad this year.
All three boys play hurling with Meelick GAA club at minor level.
In this year's cup both Gavin and Evan will form a very strong second, while Darren tends to call the shots at scrum-half. Put simply for all comers it represents trouble on the treble.
Pictured above (l to r): Evan, Darren and Gavin Ryan. Don Moloney/ Press 22