Sherry sees value in Schools Cups
With the Munster Senior and Junior Cup kicking off next Tuesday, Munster hooker Mike Sherry says the competitions play a vital part in the development of players coming through the province.
The 27-year-old has played 81 times for Munster and notched eight tries, and he has fond memories of his days playing with Ardscoil Rís in Limerick.
Sherry starred as a prop in their 2003 Junior Cup winning side before he switched to the back-row for his fourth and fifth year.
He played at blindside as well as at No 8 but always threw the ball into the lineout for his team, which would eventually pave the way for his move to hooker.
And he is always keen to go back and watches a lot of the matches with his Munster team-mates.
He says despite the Munster competition being slightly behind their Leinster counter-part, the gap is getting closer.
"Up in Leinster it is almost semi-professional, the numbers playing leads to that. But in Munster it is getting better and better," he said.
"The players are getting gym work and training and skill work done.
"They are kind of inter-linked with Munster so players go back down to the schools, and pass on what we are doing.
"It is a brilliant competition, it is great excitement. Ardscoil Ris have done quite well in it in recent years.
"Going back with the lads to games and stuff, there is a lot of buzz around. They get great crowds and media coverage.
"We try to get to as many of them as we can. It's great, you see all of your old teachers, and classmates."