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Ross Returns To Ulster Bank League As Malahide Player/Scrum Coach

Ross Returns To Ulster Bank League As Malahide Player/Scrum Coach

Mike Ross bowed out of professional rugby with final appearances for Leinster and the Barbarians before the summer break. But the scrum cap will be back on tomorrow night when the Cork-born prop makes his debut as Malahide’s player/scrum coach.

After 151 appearances for Leinster and 61 caps for Ireland, Mike Ross will return to the Ulster Bank League when Malahide play their first ever Division 2C game against Bective Rangers on Friday (kick-off 7.30pm) under the Estuary Road floodlights.

Malahide have enjoyed a rapid rise to Ulster Bank League level, winning Leinster Junior League Divisions 1B and 1A in the last two seasons, before securing senior status thanks to a three-match winning streak in the Round Robin series last spring.

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The addition of veteran prop Ross to Rick Evans’ management team and playing panel is a very astute move as the north Dublin club aim to make a splash in Division 2C. Speaking about Malahide’s ambitions in the league, director of rugby Evans said: “We are not going up for ‘a look’. We think we have the population base and the infrastructure to be one of the top Dublin clubs.”

Of course, Ross is not the only former Ireland international that has donned the club’s black and amber jersey. Second row Malcolm O’Kelly coached the Malahide Under-20s and played for two seasons with their seniors, famously kicking a conversion in his final game as they won the Spencer Cup.

‘Rossy’, a self confessed ‘scrum nerd’, took up his new position as commercial director with Dublin-based technology firm Wizuda in early June. He said at the time, ‘this is a new challenge for me and one I fully intend on embracing’, and he is sure to bring the same enthusiasm to his involvement with Malahide RFC.

The 37-year-old tighthead is returning to his All-Ireland League roots, having first come to prominence domestically with UCC and Cork Constitution. He had a four-year stint in the Cork Con front row, playing in the 2004 Division 1 final against Shannon and helping them win the inaugural All-Ireland Cup in 2006.

He joined English club Harlequins just a few weeks after that cup final at Lansdowne Road, beginning a professional career that saw him win two Six Nations titles with Ireland and two Heineken Cups, a Challenge Cup and two PRO12 Championships with Leinster.