Michael Bradley has been appointed as UCC Rugby Club’s new head coach. He leads an high-quality coaching team that includes fellow former Ireland internationals Ken O’Connell and Paul McCarty, and ex-Munster out-half Scott Deasy.
Bradley comes to the Mardyke with a host of international experience having previously coached Connacht, Edinburgh and Zebre in the United Rugby Championship, where he received the Coaches’ Coach of the Year award at the conclusion of the 2020/21 season.
Commenting on his new role with the Energia All-Ireland League Division 1B club, the Corkman spoke about his excitement about working with some of UCC’s talented young squad.
“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to work with UCC Rugby,” said Bradley. “It is exciting and challenging to work with some of the most talented young rugby players at this critical juncture in their career.
“University College Cork and the Mardyke Arena have fully supported the UCC Rugby project. Our vision is to play exciting, winning rugby and to make the Mardyke venue an excellent match day experience for all who come to support our teams.”
O’Connell joins Bradley at UCC having previously acted as an elite development officer with Munster before becoming the province’s coach development officer. He was also a member of the coaching group that led Munster ‘A’ to a British & Irish Cup triumph in 2012.
McCarty, who was Munster’s scrum coach between 2002 and 2013, also brings an international pedigree to the Mardyke having represented both Ireland and the Barbarians.
He won his first international cap during Ireland’s tour of New Zealand in 1992, where he was selected to play alongside Bradley in both Tests against the All Blacks, the first of which saw Ireland narrowly lose by three points.
Later that year, McCarthy was included in the Munster team that famously beat 1991 Rugby World Cup winners Australia at Musgrave Park.
Deasy joins UCC’s stellar coaching group as Lansdowne’s all-time top points scorer in the All Ireland League, having amassed more than 600 points for the headquarters club.
Having also represented Munster between 2009 and 2013, winning the British & Irish Cup with the province in 2012, Deasy will be able to draw on a wealth of experience and knowledge in his role.
Morgan Buckley, Head of UCC Sport, welcomed Bradley and the coaching team to UCC, stating: “In this, the 150th anniversary year of the founding of UCC RFC, I’m thrilled to welcome Michael to campus.
“Michael is a world class coach who will add to the storied history of UCC RFC. I wish Michael, Scott, Ken, and Paul every success this season.”
Vivian Nathan, Chairperson of UCC RFC, added: “Michael will bring an extra dimension and positivity to the club as we embark on the next chapter of our journey. I wish him the very best in the coming season.”
Bradley’s first All-Ireland League game in charge of the Cork students is away to Malone on Saturday, October 1.