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Skerries set bar high with arrival of pair

A new era beckons for rugby in Fingal as Skerries Rugby Club prepares for the coming season and the launch of their new international-class pitches and floodlighting.

This year's squads will be led by the experienced duo of Skerries men John Murphy and Chris Keane.

Director of rugby and first team coach John Murphy brings with him 25 years' experience working at the highest level with the IRFU in the areas of player development, coach education and leading the national schoolboys' team.

Chris Keane, in his role of backs coach and player, has come back to Skerries from Leinster Rugby bearing a Heineken Cup winners medal and Magners League medal.

Both men are steeped in the tradition of Skerries Rugby Club and the names Murphy and Keane have graced many a team-sheet in Holmpatrick over the years.

John and Chris are keen to build on the progress made last season with the emphasis on the development of player skills and set-piece improvement.

Skerries will be looking to play a high-tempo style of rugby that will be enjoyable for players and supporters alike coupled with the hard work that will be required to achieve results in the competitive surroundings of Leinster Division 1A.

With this in mind, the overall goals for the season will be performance based, with the forwards and backs working together to complement each other's strengths.

With the new season nearly upon us, John and Chris will have the players ready to hit the ground running for the first home game against Cill Dara on September 18.

One of the many strengths of Skerries Rugby Club throughout the years has been its nurturing of talent and the current crop of young players is no exception, with the future looking very bright indeed.

John Murphy, in his role as director of rugby, is very keen to create a pathway for the advancement of players from minis all the way through to the senior squad. In tandem with developing player skills, John will work with the coaches of all levels to improve their own skill-sets so that they can then, in turn, challenge the players in their charge.

Chris will also work closely with all levels of coaching to impart his knowledge of goal-setting and position-specific skills.

The overall senior squad will work together, with John and Chris taking responsibility for the first team.

The second team coaches will be Michael Connolly, Ed Caraher, Michael O'Keefe, Jeffery Duff and John Boland. This year also sees the introduction of an U21 squad.

Each new season brings its own challenges but with the experience, commitment and local knowledge of John and Chris, Skerries Rugby Club is now ready to deliver.