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Thursday 20 June 2019

Rugby coach Joe Schmidt wows at club fundraiser

Joe Schmidt with Club President Bert Nicholson and Brian Clarke at the Audience with Joe Schmidt Fundraiser for Wicklow Rugby Club
Joe Schmidt with Club President Bert Nicholson and Brian Clarke at the Audience with Joe Schmidt Fundraiser for Wicklow Rugby Club

Myles Buchanan

250 guests attended a lunch and questions and answers session with Irish rugby coach Joe Schmidt.

In five years under his leadership, Ireland have won three Six Nations Championships, and recorded their first-ever wins over his home nation of New Zealand. He retires as Ireland coach after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

His visit to Wicklow Rugby Club generated plenty of interest. In advance of the lunch fundraiser for the Wicklow Rugby Club Development Fund, club members were asked to send in what questions they would like to ask, with the best ones put to the man himself last Friday.

MC for the occasion was Michael Sheridan, who asked the special guest a series of questions upon his arrival to Ashtown Lane. The honoured guest ended up chatting away amicably and answering any questions that were put to him for over an hour and a half.

He also appeared impressed with the design plans for the club's €250,000 extension to the clubhouse.

His fellow New Zealanders, Wicklow Rugby Club Head Coach George Naoupu and his wife Sene, were also informally asked a number of questions while seated at their dinner table. George has played with both Connacht and Harlequins and has also been capped for New Zealand at schools, u19s and sevens level. Sene is an Irish international and in 2016 she was named the Guinness Rugby Writers Women's Player of the Year and the IRUPA Women's Player of the Year.

Seven items were put up for auction, including a framed Irish jersey signed by Joe Schmidt.

Wicklow People

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