He’s popularly known as ‘McMuff’. He’s the one who ferries Munster players and management around foreign cities. He’s a serial talker. Talks faster than he drives. So he’s a chaffueur then ?
No he’s Munster’s Fitness Advisor and his name is Mark McManus. He was born in Glasgow in June 1975. He attended John Ogilvie High School in Hamilton (home to the famous Hamilton Accies Soccerteam), where he completed his Highers (equivalent of Leaving Cert).
Mark’s family and his sister are still living in Glasgow, and he tries to get back to visit as often as possible, although his involvement with Munster limits his chances greatly. The advent of the Celtic League affords one opportunity of a visit home as Munster have to play one of the Scottish sides.
After High School he gained a place at Loughborough University in England,
made famous by it’s sportsmen, including Steve Backley, Seb Coe and Paula Radcliffe.
Like his Munster colleague Fergal O’Callaghan, McMuffs’ first sporting interest wasn’t rugby. He competed at all levels in athletics, winning National titles in 100m, 200m, and Long Jump from U-16 through to senior.
At Loughborough he continued to train in a much more professional manner, the highlight of which was winning a silver medal in the Decathlon at the British University Championships.
After graduating from Loughborough with a BSc Joint Hons in Sports Science, Physical Education and Mathematics, he was recruited by a large Sports retailer to establish a exercise and fitness range of products and
was involved in coach development programs in his spare time.
After two years, he took a break in Bantry, West Cork, fell in love with the area, and through a chance encounter made contact with the Munster Branch three years ago.
The rest, as they say, is history. The past three years have been a major challenge but nonetheless hugely enjoyable for and with the promise of more of the same to come.
As well as becoming immersed in Munster rugby, Mark has found great pleasure in finding out about Hurling and Football, and reckons that Shinty is a much better game!!!
More than happy to be based in Cork and traveling to Limerick for the Squad sessions, ans say’s as long as Munster and Celtic keep winning, then he’ll stay. If he does get spare he likes nothing nothing better than to head west to the coast.
The most exciting thing about the job ? “Dealing with all the different personalities that exist within the team, and seeing what a great force they can be when they all work together”.