Rugby legend Wood to train Clare club
CLARE senior hurling team Smith O'Brien's have pulled off a major coup by enlisting the services of local hero and former Ireland rugby captain Keith Wood as a conditioning trainer for a six-week spell.
Officials at the Killaloe outfit have revealed that the former Lions star has already embarked on an intensive training schedule to aid Smith O'Brien's in their quest for local glory.
Club chairman Naoise Lawlor expressed his delight at having Wood on board, just a fortnight after another ex-Munster and Ireland rugby hero, Anthony Foley, lined out for Smith O'Brien's in a Munster junior club football semi-final.
Foley's father Brendan won a county junior football medal as a goalkeeper with Smith O'Brien's back in 1986 and remains heavily involved with the local Ballina/Killaloe rugby club.
Lawlor explained: "Keith is living in Killaloe, a next-door neighbour of mine, and he had indicated that he would like to get involved in some capacity.
"The senior team management approached him and had a chat and identified an area of conditioning to work on. Our aim, like every club, is to do well in the championship. We were promoted in 2004 but we've struggled to stay senior in recent years.
"This is our sixth year senior, we want to develop and people like Keith will bring us on that bit more and develop a culture required to compete at senior level."
Wood (38) has also expressed his desire to stay involved with the team after the conditioning course and Lawlor added: "Part of the reason why Keith is involved is that he will help guys we have had injured with rehab.
"He's gone through all of the injuries himself and there's very little that he doesn't know."