Sunday 19 November 2017

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Seamus Dennison

(Former Munster rugby player)

when the All Blacks came to Limerick to take on Munster in 1978, Seamus Dennison and his team-mates prepared meticulously.

Tom Kiernan had sourced a tape of some highlights of the All Blacks previous games. The tape came from England and a video player was located in the Dock Road industrial estate. All the team members and management watched the footage to try and get a handle on what the All Blacks would bring to Limerick. They noticed that Stu Wilson came in off the wing to stand outside the outhalf. When the game started, Dennison was waiting for the visitors to employ this tactic and when they did, he was ready.

Wilson burst into the attacking line and, in front of 13,000 people in Thomond Park, the Munster winger pulled off a perfectly timed crunching tackle that set the tone for the game. Munster, famously, went on to win 12-0 and Dennison's name went into the history books.

"It was just another tackle," says Dennison. "It was a move that they had that we were trying to stop. I just got on with the game and that was that."

Dennison's career as a sportsman started off with Gaelic football. He loved it and played for his local club in Abbeyfeale.

A rugby team had been formed in the area but it wasn't until Dennison went to Mungret College that he played his first game. During his time there he made the Munster schools team and all the while kept up Gaelic football.

University in Galway was his next stop. He lined out for Connacht while there and also made the combined Universities team. Around this time, his football career came to an abrupt end. He got a trial for the county under 21 team and when he failed to show he was suspended. This left the way clear for rugby to become his priority.

After college, he took a job as a history teacher in Roscrea and played with Garryowen and Munster. In 1973, he was picked for Ireland and earned his first cap in a 6-4 victory over France. He was part of the squad for the next few years and earned further caps against England and Scotland.

He is retired from teaching now and is secretary of the Roscrea rugby club. He's still a big Munster fan and will be in Thomond Park today supporting them as they take on Edinburgh in the Heineken Cup.

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