Friday 18 October 2019

Dylan fulfils rugby dream

Proud son of Wexford plays for U.S.A. against Ireland

Dylan Fawsitt of the U.S.A. is tackled by Ireland’s Ross Byrne in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday
Dylan Fawsitt of the U.S.A. is tackled by Ireland’s Ross Byrne in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday

Brendan Furlong

Wexford players continue to make names for themselves on both the international and provincial rugby scenes.

They have made a massive contribution across the rugby landscape, and most particularly this year as the impact of players with strong roots in the county has become more and more noticeable.

The talented Dylan Fawsitt entered the red hot-atmosphere of the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, not in a green jersey but in the white of the U.S.A. as he made his international appearance against his home country.

Fawsitt, a former St. Martin's G.A.A. player, left for America to continue his studies and, having sampled rugby with Wexford Wanderers and Greystones, he continued with the oval ball game in the States, making rapid progress which has resulted in international recognition.

A 44th-minute substitute as hooker, Fawsitt came into a front row that was beginning to feel the pressure of the Irish front five, with players looking to impress Joe Schmidt with the Six Nations and World Cup campaigns on the horizon.

It must have been an uplifting experience for Fawsitt to play in front of such an audience, but he stuck to his game in the scrum, while also being particularly active in open play with some impressive carries and tackles. Despite his best efforts, Ireland ensured they went unbeaten in November with a 57-14 victory.

It was also a momentous week for north Wexford native, Paul Boyle, who signed his first professional contract with Connacht.

Boyle, who was rewarded for some hugely impressive displays as the season progressed, marked the occasion with a try for the province in their Guinness PRO14 31-14 victory over Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on Sunday.

His progress has been quite astonishing, and he is now a vital component of the Connacht team.

Meanwhile, Enniscorthy native Josh Murphy continued his progression with Leinster, starting in the back row as the province tightened their grip at the summit of the Guinness PRO14 Conference B table with a comprehensive 52-7 victory over Welsh side, Ospreys.

As a result of the victory, the Blues moved ten points clear of the Scarlets, achieved without their international players who are being game managed through a hectic November.

With Irish rugby now dominant on the World stage, Campile native Tadhg Furlong has become an integral part of that success.

On Sunday night Johnny Sexton became the first Irishman since Keith Wood in 2001 to be crowned world rugby player of the year.

The announcement was made at a lavish ceremony in Monte Carlo.

It was a night when the achievements of Irish rugby were recognised, as Joe Schmidt was named world rugby coach of the year, while Ireland were also selected as world rugby team of the year, having lost just one game in 2018.

It was a marvellous year for Irish rugby, winning the Australian series, the Six Nations Grand Slam, beating New Zealand on Irish soil for the very first time, and going unbeaten through the November internationals, while Leinster became European champions and also added the Guinness PRO14 league title.

This has been a remarkable season for Irish rugby, with Tadhg Furlong not alone a part of such astonishing success but also becoming the world's top tight head prop as shown with Ireland, Leinster and the Lions.

Enniscorthy Guardian