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  • Rugby

Ormond set for new look campaign

Friday, 25th September, 2020 10:39am
Ormond set for new look campaign

Nenagh Ormond senior management, from left: John Long (Director of Rugby), Dan Finnerty (Conditioning coach), Alan Long (Backs coach), Eoin O'Callaghan (manager), Ivan Muldoon (Head Coach), Conor Muldoon (Forwards coach), Mark Moran (Video analysis), Mike Tynan (Physio).

Ormond set for new look campaign

Nenagh Ormond senior management, from left: John Long (Director of Rugby), Dan Finnerty (Conditioning coach), Alan Long (Backs coach), Eoin O'Callaghan (manager), Ivan Muldoon (Head Coach), Conor Muldoon (Forwards coach), Mark Moran (Video analysis), Mike Tynan (Physio).

RUGBY: Nenagh Ormond Season Preview


By Enda Treacy

The resumption of club rugby takes place in earnest this weekend when Nenagh Ormond welcome Clonmel to Lisatunny (2:30pm) in what will be a revamped season due to Covid-19 and will see a number of novel ideas and changes to the usual AIL season. 

In an effort to get games going safely for clubs around the country in the midst of these unusual times, the All Ireland League will not resume until January 2021 and in order to limit the travel involved to play games, the IRFU have introduced a new competition called the Community Series where clubs play other clubs in their own geographical region.  

There will be two seven team divisions taking place in the Munster region, with Nenagh Ormond joined in the Division 2 by UL Bohemian, Bruff, Clonmel, Midleton, Dolphin and Sunday’s Well and every fixture will consist of both clubs first and second teams competing in double headers on the day to ensure game time for all players. 

This will ensure that each team will get six full games in the lead up to Christmas and should the circumstances be satisfactory in the new year, the All-Ireland League element will have a provisional start date of January 9th 2021.  

It will consist of a nine-game league season with semi-finals and finals in all men’s and women’s divisions  The size and make-up of each 10-team division remains unchanged from the finishing positions of the 2019-20 season and since it is a truncated format, no promotion or relegation will take place. 

Preparations for the new season have already begun in earnest and Nenagh’s management teams are all in place with the new season, with a familiar look of continuity in place as Eoin O’Callaghan returns as manager and will be joined by Ivan and Conor Muldoon (Head Coach and Forwards Coach), Alan Long (Backs Coach) and Dan Finnerty (Conditioning Coach). 

John Long will also continue his role as the club’s Director of Rugby and despite the challenges posed by Covid-19 to sporting organisations across the country, he reckons that preparations haven’t massively hindered for the club but the new reality has meant adapting to some changes. 

“It’s worked out well enough for us in fairness,” he acknowledged. 
“The return has kind of worked out the same time wise in terms of when we’ve usually gone back into training with the lads over the past few years so we’ve been lucky in that sense. 
“We’ve had a few changes in terms of logistics in that we’ve been operating in smaller pods, not mixing as much as possible in training, not having use of the dressing rooms and no showers, that sort of thing, but overall, it hasn’t been too bad.” 

The premature end to last season was one of the only positives taken for the club after the AIL season was voided after the closure of sports grounds across the country back in March, as Nenagh were facing a relegation dogfight with only a few games left but Long is bullish that they’d have found a way out and he believes they will have a good opportunity to re-build and replenish the team in the coming months. 

“We were definitely in trouble alright but I think myself that we’d have done enough to stay in the division," he said.
“We have a lot of young players coming into the senior squad and with the way the competitions are this year, it will give us a good chance to blood a lot of the younger players which is great. We’re looking forward to it.” 

Personnel wise Nenagh welcome back scrum-half Nicky Irwin and Fionn McGibney; the latter committing to Ormond after a loan spell at the end of last year, while Paudie Bourke, former stalwart Ruairi O’Brien, Brendan McAdams from UL Bohs and Kyle Cahir from Roscrea all come in to bolster the young squad. 

Meanwhile, Josh Rowland has gone to Limerick for a fist at Division 1 rugby with Young Munster, with Aaron Hennessy departing after just one season at the club, while John Healy continues to shake off concussion worries after some knocks sustained last season. 

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