Tuesday 23 January 2018

Two local links with Lansdowne

A jubilant Stephen Gardiner lifts the silverware
A jubilant Stephen Gardiner lifts the silverware

The selection of Joe McSwiney as 'Irish Independent' sport star of the week on Friday crowned a magical six days for Lansdowne Rugby Club.

The former Enniscorthy flanker was man of the match in the Dublin side's thrilling Ulster Bank League Division 1A final victory over holders Clontarf in the Aviva Stadium on the previous Saturday.

McSwiney, who is in his first season with Lansdowne after signing from Cork Constitution, impressed throughout the campaign and crowned his superb show in the decider with a fine try.

And he wasn't the only Wexford man to share in the success as he was joined in the winners' forward division by Stephen Gardiner, formerly of Gorey. Gardiner played with the Irish clubs selection earlier in the season when his colleagues included Eddie Rossiter of Garryowen, formerly of Wexford Wanderers.

There was also a Wexford connection on the beaten Clontarf side which included another ex-Enniscorthy clubman in Tony Ryan. Last year Ryan, Killian Lett - who returned to his native Enniscorthy this season and played a huge role in their Towns Cup triumph - and New Ross lad Kieran Butler, the current centre-back with the county's Senior footballers, also featured with the successful Clontarf squad along with Horeswood's Tadhg Furlong of Leinster fame.

Meanwhile, another Wexford native, Josh Murphy is included on the Ireland Under-20 rugby squad for the World Championship in Parma, Italy from June 2 to 22.

Head coach, Nigel Carolan, has named a squad of 28 with just two players who were not involved in the 2015 RBS 6 Nations Championship.

Murphy is one of eight of the squad with previous Under-20 Championship experience (previously known as the Junior World Championship), having played in last year's tournament in New Zealand, where the Irish side finished in fourth position.

Ireland share pool C with Argentina, Scotland and New Zealand and open their tournament against Argentina on Tuesday, June 2, in Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma.

They will face Scotland on June 6 in Calvisano, and New Zealand four days later in Viadana.

Wexford People

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