Ross stalwart up for Hall of Fame award
New Ross RFC stalwart Derek Furness has been nominated by the south east region for the inaugural Leinster Rugby 'Sean O'Brien Hall of Fame Award'.
Derek played at every underage level in the club, from minis to U18 and then progressed to adult level where he played on the club's first 15 for almost 20 years.
A hard, uncompromising and totally committed player he represented Leinster at No. 7 on the Leinster Junior team for two seasons, 1992 and 1993 and was on the panel the following year, but was forced to withdraw due to work commitments.
He played on the first Sea Lions team to represent the South East and went on to play with them for several seasons. He was captain of New Ross RFC for two years - 1996 to 1998 and in 1999 he won the accolade of 'Clubman of the Year'.
Derek has served five terms on club's general committee and is presently a hard working member of the rugby sub-committee.
During his playing career he had been involved in coaching at underage level and when he retired from playing in 2005 he concentrated on coaching. He has coached at every level in the club and is currently coaching the girl's u16 side.
Club spokesperson Maurice Quirke said: 'As if his rugby involvement was not enough, Derek is also the club's 'go to' handyman. From building presses, designing and making sponsors boards to hanging doors, no job is too big or too small. Each is undertaken on a voluntary basis and with a ready smile. In addition to all this, no fundraiser is undertaken without the wholehearted support of Derek as an organiser, ticket seller or an act in one of the many variety shows we have staged. He has even engaged in some cross-dressing for the cause. NRRFC's very successful Club Lotto is now in existence in excess of 20 years and Derek has contributed to the sales over every single week of that period.
Derek's commitment to New Ross RFC is enormous and is the foundation upon which Junior Rugby thrives in Leinster.'
Derek is also a well-known member of New Ross fire brigade and works tirelessly around the town in his role with Wexford County Council.
New Ross RFC wishes Derek well as he heads to the awards ceremony in Dublin on January 6 as one of just five nominees for this prestigious honour.