Sunday 18 February 2018

Sadness at exit of 'character' Varley

Munster players and management have been fulsome in their praise for hooker Damien Varley, who was forced to retire from the game through injury
Munster players and management have been fulsome in their praise for hooker Damien Varley, who was forced to retire from the game through injury

Daragh Small

Munster players and management have been fulsome in their praise for hooker Damien Varley, who was forced to retire from the game through injury.

But it is not just on the field that he will be missed - the Munster team bus, dressing-room and hotels will be all the poorer for the loss of the Limerick man after his career was cut short by a foot problem.

Varley is a renowned musician and has sung live on television, and has entertained many a team event over the years.

"We will miss him," said Donncha O'Callaghan. "Granted it will be great when it comes to singsongs, we're all back to equal level again!

"You'd call him a brother and the thought of not having him around is a bit weird.

"It's disappointing, it really is. When you look at it, rugby is ruthless when you see things like that going on, but you know losing Varls is a bad one. He's more than a team-mate, he's a friend."

Assistant coach Ian Costello said Varley set the standard on and off the pitch.

"He is an incredible singer. No one ever wants to go after him," he said.

"Damien is a huge character. He's involved in everything we do, he had a very significant leadership role within the group and he is a player that young players looked up to.

"Off the pitch at social events and entertainment he has a very strong personality, but he also has a serious side, has a side that we like to have with a bit of character around the place.

"It's very disappointing to see it cut short we all wish him the best in the future."

Irish Independent

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