The Ireland Club XV Coaching & Management Team for the 2020 Club International Series has been finalised. Gearoid Prendergast, who was announced as Head Coach last week on a two-year term, will be joined by James Blaney as Assistant Coach.
Blaney is in his first season as Head Coach with Blackrock College in the Energia All-Ireland League, having previously served as Head Coach of Terenure College from 2012. The former hooker lined out for Leinster, Munster and Ireland ‘A’ during his playing career.
Mark Hamilton will be Team Manager for the series against Scottish Clubs in January and February. He holds the same role with Terenure College and is looking forward to the occasion of the series.
“Hopefully there are young lads playing minis all over the country who will come to the match and see some of their club members playing” he told Irish Rugby TV in the above video.
“It will encourage them to keep playing and aspire to get on the club team themselves. It’s not all about the professional game. We’ve phenomenal players here and it’s a phenomenal standard so the opportunity to take part in the Dalriada Cup is huge for everyone selected.”
He is joined in the backroom team by fellow Terenure College stalwart Paddy ‘Rala’ O’Reilly.
Young Munster Strength & Conditioning Coach Rob Cassidy steps up to the role at Club International Level, while Niall Kelly will manage the squad’s video analysis.
Stuart O’Flanagan and Ailbe McCormack return as Team Doctor and Team Physio respectively.
The squad will attend training camps every weekend in January before flying out to take on Scottish Clubs in Game One. The home fixture will take place the weekend of February 7th – 9th. Fixture details will be announced in due course.
In addition to training at Irish Rugby’s High Performance Centre at the Sport Ireland Campus, the squad will also train at the University of Limerick on Sunday January 12th.
Ireland Club XV Coaching and Management Team:
Head Coach: Gearoid Prendergast
Assistant Coach: James Blaney
Team Manager: Mark Hamilton
Strength & Conditioning Coach: Rob Cassidy
Baggage Master: Paddy ‘Rala’ O’Reilly
Team Doctor: Stuart O’Flanagan
Team Physiotherapist: Ailbe McCormack
Video Analysis: Niall Kelly
Communications Manager: Ross O’Donoghue
This Week’s Energia All-Ireland League Fixtures:
Saturday November 23rd 2019:
Energia Women’s All-Ireland League: Galwegians v Railway Union, Crowley Park, 2:30pm; UL Bohemian v Cooke, UL, 3pm; Blackrock College v Old Belvedere, Stradbrook, 5pm; Suttonians v Malone, Station Road, 5pm.