Former Munster and Ireland prop Marcus Horan has been appointed as the new head coach of Ulster Bank League Division 1B club Shannon.
Since retiring from the game less than two years ago, Marcus Horan has already built up an impressive coaching CV at underage and senior level with the role at Shannon RFC seeing him take a head coach position for the first time.
“We have a very young team and I think we’re in a good position,” said Horan, who has been on the coaching team at the club this season.
“If we can keep our young players together for the next four to five years we’ll reap the rewards because, even in the short time I have been back with Shannon, I’ve seen massive improvements so these are exciting times.”
Horan began his senior playing career with Shannon in the All-Ireland League and the former IRUPA Chairman went on to make 225 appearances for Munster. He played a crucial role in the Heineken Cup successes of 2006 and 2008 and the league title wins in 2003 and 2010.
Along with his achievements at provincial level, the 37-year-old also made a big impact at international level. He won the first of his 67 Ireland caps in 2000 and was the starting loosehead in all five of Ireland’s games when they claimed the Grand Slam in 2009.
Since his retirement, Horan has been scrum coach at UL Bohemians for a season and the Munster Under-19s for the last two seasons. He also helps run the 1-2-3 Club, developing the underage scrum culture in the province.
With two years of senior coaching under his belt, he has already worked with some very experienced coaches and feels ready to take the Shannon reins from Ian Sherwin.
“It was a good experience for me at UL Bohs under Colm Tucker, who has great experience at that level and Gearoid Prendergast. This year Ian Sherwin and James Hickey have been a great help as well, so I’ve been asked now to go on and become the (Shannon) senior coach for next year and I’m looking forward to it.
“It’s a tough battle, especially in Limerick with the other clubs there and with Garryowen going up they have set a standard, but the big thing is to get up (to Division 1A), stay up and be competitive up there,” he added.