Saturday 16 February 2019

Legend Byrne goes back to his roots

Shane Byrne presents some of his jerseys to Arklow Rugby Club
Shane Byrne presents some of his jerseys to Arklow Rugby Club

Two weeks ago Arklow Rugby Club celebrated the successes of former player Shane Byrne as they continue on a journey of resurrection.

Byrne returned to the club for their Leinster League fixture against Athy to present them with some of the jerseys from his professional career, a career he considerably attributes to his playing days at the Oval.

Having left Arklow to go to school in Blackrock College, Byrne went on to become one of Leinster's most well-known and important players, making his debut in 1991.

Among the jerseys was the shirt Byrne wore when he became the first Leinster player to reach 100 appearances for his province.

Despite his performances for Leinster however, it took the hooker until 2001 to earn his first Irish cap.

Having been brought into the Irish squad first in 1993, he was told to cut his hair, but Byrne refused to shave the famous mullet, and was omitted until 2001.

After making his first appearance Byrne went on to have a distinguished career, earning 41 caps for Ireland and touring with the Lions in 2005.

Byrne has no regrets parting with the jerseys from such important games.

Arklow Rugby Club is where he started and for that he says he owes them huge thanks.

"Ultimately that's where I started out," the former hooker says.

"The club is where it all begins. You get the grassroots. Arklow Rugby Club has always been the place for me if anyone asks where I started playing."

Tickets in high demand for Bath clash at the Aviva

Ticket sales for tomorrow week's Leinster game against Bath in the Aviva Stadium have been selling quickly ahead of another massive Christmas Aviva fixture.

Ticket sales have gone past the 33,000 mark and more than 40,000 supporters are expected in Dublin 4 next weekend to cheer on the boys in blue as a remarkable year draws to a close.

Tickets for the game are still on sale at leinstterrugby.ie with prices starting at €25.

Leinster and Bath have met on nine occasions in European competition before tomorrow's clash at the Rec.

The last time the teams met was in January 2016, in round five of the Champions Cup pool stages.

Ian Madigan kicked 20 points and Seán Cronin scored the lone try as Leinster, inspired by a number of youngsters, won 25-11 at the RDS.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport