IrishRugby.ie caught up with Mick Galwey, Ireland’s AIB Club International manager, as he prepares the cream of AIB League talent for Friday’s clash with England Counties.
One would think that with 41 Ireland caps, four as captain, and 130 appearances for Munster (85 as captain), that Mick Galwey knows all there is to know about the game of rugby.
But he admits he knows absolutely nothing about the English Counties team he hopes to beat in his capacity as Irish manager for the club international at Donnybrook on Friday night (kick-off 7.05pm).
The man from Currow has known more than most the highs of winning and the bitter disappointment of defeat.
One of the stars of the amateur era, he has taken to the game’s professional set-up like a duck to water – both as a player and coach.
Ahead of only the second ever club international he said: “All I know about England is that the side that they put out against us will be totally amateur.
“We’re expecting a very good game from them and no matter what, it promises to be a great occasion.
“Ireland always love to beat England at any level. We want to win this game and I am very happy with the side that has been chosen,” added the current Shannon coach.
Galwey is, of course, well aware that he has not had much time with his squad.
“We trained last Sunday and before that we had a get-together when we had about 50 players present. The real work starts in Dublin on Wednesday (tomorrow) when we get down to the task at hand.
“But I believe we have a few things going for us because of the team that’s been chosen.
“For instance our half-backs, Andrew Thompson and Fiach Loughlin played many times together when Fiach was with Shannon and they are also brothers-in-law.
“That should help and our captain, and number 8, Dave Quinlan and O’Loughlin, now with Clontarf, have also played together. There’s a good spine to the team already.”
Ireland will have a strong side on duty on Friday night with fourteen of those chosen playing regularly in Division One of the AIB League.
“It was a tough task picking the side, we had so many players to choose from,” Galwey admitted.
– IrishRugby.ie will be running a live match tracker from Donnybrook, so you can keep track of the action as Ireland bid to follow up on last year’s win over Scotland’s club side. RTE Two will also have live coverage of the match, beginning from 7pm on Friday –