Thursday 25 April 2019

Dylan returns to his rugby roots!

Fawsitt visits Dr Hickey Park

Former Greystones RFC player and current USA Eagles panel member Dylan Fawsitt with Oskar Riordan and Shane Collins at Dr Hickey Park on Sunday
Former Greystones RFC player and current USA Eagles panel member Dylan Fawsitt with Oskar Riordan and Shane Collins at Dr Hickey Park on Sunday

A dream came true for Dylan Fawsitt at the Aviva Stadium last Saturday when he played almost the entire second half for the United States in the November Series rugby international against Ireland.

But despite making his seventh international appearance for the Eagles and being based on the western side of the Atlantic for five years, Greystones Rugby Club will always hold a special place in the affections of the 28-year-old hooker.

It was at Dr Hickey Park that Dylan was first introduced to the oval ball game at the of six, and to where his father Brian used regularly drive him to line out for 'Stones in matches at weekends after the Fawsitt family moved from Greystones to just outside Wexford Town when Dylan was 10 years of age.

And proof of Dylan's deep and unswerving attachment to his original rugby club, with whom he played at first team level in 2010, '11 and '12, was emphatically illustrated last Sunday morning when he presented to Club officers the jersey he proudly wore when the USA recorded their first victory over a Tier One nation by putting Scotland to the sword in Houston, last June.

Greystones Rugby Director Brian Kealy and Club President Rory O'Connor both expressed deep gratitude to Dylan for his significant gesture and revealed that their former player's jersey will be placed in a glass panel on the wall in the Club's upstairs lounge alongside the Ireland international jerseys worn by the likes of household names such as Tony Ward and Paul McNaughton.

And in a reciprocal gesture, Brian Kealy presented Dylan with a Greystones Club hoodie and with a Club Honours tie which is awarded to only a very limited number of people who have achieved special recognition in the world of rugby.

"Dylan is the 12th member, or former member, of this club who has played rugby at international level, and he's actually the third player to play for a country other than Ireland, following in the footsteps of Tom Curtis and Peter Muller who played for Samoa and South Africa," explained Brian Kealy.

Growing up, Dylan was a Greystones team-mate and close friend of current Club captain Andrew Kealy, the son of Brian Kealy, who was also in attendance at the presentation as well as Dylan's parents, Siobhan and Brian, and his American wife Alyssa.

Understandably, Dylan remarked that he was delighted to see his former club are currently featuring prominently in the All-Ireland Club League, winning all their six matches and making a major push for promotion from Division 2B.

"Greystones face a lot of competition from the city clubs, so it's great to see them doing so well this season," said Dylan, who himself also played for two seasons for Terenure-based St Mary's in Division One of the All-Ireland League.

Commenting on his Aviva Stadium appearance, Dylan said: "It was a fantastic experience for me and it was great to be on the same pitch again as Andrew Conway and Jordi Conway with whom I won Leinster Junior and Senior Cup medals during while I was a boarder at Blackrock College.

"Obviously I was delighted to be involved for most of the second half after Joe (Taufete'e) got injured.

But actually I thought that I might have got a longer run as Joe had been carrying a shoulder injury from our game against Romania the previous Saturday."

Looking ahead, Dylan said: "We (the USA team) come back together at the end of January to begin our preparations for the American Six-Nations tournament involving Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Canada and ourselves which takes place in February.

"And a good run in that would be the ideal preparation for the World Cup."

Bray People