On Saturday 15th October over 160 people attended the pre-match lunch before Old Belvedere’s Energia All-Ireland League Men’s Division 1B game versus Naas which was held in honour of Jack Conan.
Before becoming a star with Leinster, Ireland and the British & Irish Lions, Jack played over 40 AIL games and won a Leinster Senior Cup for Old Belvedere, having joined the club from St Gerard’s School.
In 2021, Jack became the 5th Old Belvedere player to wear the famous red jersey.
The club’s previous Lions were represented at the lunch and Jack was joined at the top table by Billy Morgan, son of George Morgan (Lions 1938), Paul Mullen son of Karl Mullen (captain of the 1950 Lions) and Ollie Campbell (Lions 1980 and 1983). The club’s other Lion, Tony O’Reilly (1955 and 1959) was unable to attend but sent a note of congratulations that was read out at the lunch. Also in attendance were a table of Jack’s family and friends.
Old Belvedere President, Frank Quinn highlighted Jack’s many achievements and also spoke of his ongoing generous support and commitment to the club.
Barry Brophy, representing Naas President, Paul Stapleton, also paid tribute to Jack and pointed out that there was another very distinguished Lion in Ollie Campbell Park that afternoon in the shape of Sean O’Brien but he was in the dressing room rather than the dining room as he would be playing for Naas later on.
After the meal Jack sat down for a Q and A with one time Old Belvedere team mate and coach, Andy Dunne. Jack spoke very eloquently of the highs and lows of the life of a professional rugby player, how getting a start in the AIL with Old Belvedere was a great foundation for him and how he and his Leinster team mates are determined to make up for the disappointment of missing out in the Champions Cup and the URC last year.
At the end of the lunch Jack presented an autographed Lions jersey to Old Belvedere.
The day turned out to be an especially memorable one for the club who managed to beat Naas 25-22 with a last minute try after a thrilling match.