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Tom Hayes Takes Over As Shannon Head Coach

Tom Hayes Takes Over As Shannon Head Coach

Former second row and captain Tom Hayes was last night announced as Shannon RFC’s new head coach ahead of the resumption of Ulster Bank League Division 1B in two weeks’ time.

Tom Hayes won an All Ireland League Division 1 title with Shannon in 2002 and captained the club to consecutive league titles in 2004 and 2005. The 36-year-old returned to the club as as lineout/defence coach last summer and played in a few recent games in the second row.

The Limerick club are currently bottom of Division 1B of the Ulster Bank League with one win from nine matches. Their next outing is against Galwegians at Thomond Park on Saturday, January 28.

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After making nine appearances for Munster between 2003 and 2004, Hayes moved to English Championship side Plymouth Albion in 2005. He played with Plymouth for three years before switching to Exeter Chiefs in 2008.

Hayes, a younger brother of Munster and Ireland legend John Hayes, led Exeter out of the Championship and into the Premiership in 2010. He went on to play 136 matches for the Chiefs and captained the club in their first ever Heineken Cup game – against Leinster in Dublin.

In a statement, Shannon RFC confirmed: “Following a mid-term review by the Rugby Committee at Shannon RFC, it was decided that Tom Hayes would assume the role of head coach with immediate effect.

“The club wishes to thank both of our outgoing coaches, Marcus Horan and Ian Sherwin, for their huge contribution to Shannon RFC and wish them every success in the future.”

Horan took the reins as head coach from Sherwin last summer with former Munster Rugby Academy manager Sherwin becoming the backs coach.

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, Horan also made a big impact on the international stage. 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.

Prior to taking up the head coach role at Shannon, Horan had worked as the scrum coach at UL Bohemians and the Munster Under-19s. He also helped to run the 1-2-3 club, developing the underage scrum culture in the province.