March has arrived with a bang and brought much needed brighter weather and indeed some of that much sought after sunshine they talk about and started off one of the uniquely Irish discussions about “A great stretch in the evenings”.
Unfortunately, in the last Government Covid update sport has not returned but we are hopeful that this may change post Easter if the numbers continue to improve and the vaccines continue to be distributed in line with the targets promised.
“Success may require many steps, but progress only requires one”.
It has not quite been the same this year with regard to our 6 Nations experience with our games v Wales and France not going to plan but it was great to see the Irish team bounce back well with a comprehensive defeat of Italy in Rome. The clubhouse was eerily empty and not a sinner to be seen on Lansdowne Road not something we are in a habit of seeing and an experience we hope we do not have to endure for too much longer.
It was great to see Ronan Kelleher make his first 6 Nations start and play so well, along side Tadgh Beirne who has without question been the most in form Irish player this season. On the domestic front, Greg McGrath, our hard working front row, got a call up from Leinster and has since made a number of successful appearances in the Pro 14 who along with Peter Dooley and the exciting Dan Sheehan make up a fearsome Lansdowne front row trio for Leinster. Devin Toner continues to put in his standard great shift with Leinster and will hopefully soon surpass another Lansdowne man’s, Gordon Darcy’s record appearances for Leinster which will be a great testament of Devin’s great service to his Province. It was also great to see Harry Byrne continuing to get first team starts and putting pressure on the established players ahead of him, he is a future starting international no doubt! Cian Kelleher back starting and scoring tries with fellow Lansdowne man Dave Kearney on the opposite wing was another positive for us to watch over the last few weeks as well.
Our Connacht contingent continues to grow with Oisin Dowling making his comeback from a tricky injury and showing all of his quality, he will hope to make the same positive impact the revitalised Tom Daly has made with Connacht. Peter Sullivan continues to excite and along with Matt Healy returning from injury, they pose a serious threat to any team, hopefully Tom Farrell can get back soon as he was getting on so well before injury intervened and we wish him and all of our other Connacht players well.
Jordi Murphy was awarded the captaincy in Ulster as just reward for his performances and leadership shown on and off the field. Marty Moore can hopefully continue to stay injury free and continue to show all the quality player he is. David O’Connor also showed his worth by earning a new contract with Ulster so congratulations David!
Our club coaches continue to work away in the background keeping players engaged and preparing for when we get the opportunity to return to playing rugby. The format and type of competition we enter back into is yet to be decided by the Leinster Branch, but whatever it is we hope to get back training at least within the next 4/5 weeks but we will be happy just to be back in the club training and playing.
Congratulation to the Lansdowne players who raised over €3,000.00 for cancer research and who also gave generously along with our members to the wonderful Jemima Mulligan who raised over €65,000.00 and still counting for ARC cancer support services in her “Swim for Tash 2” following on from last years great fundraising effort in which Lansdowne members were also heavily involved and contributed so generously.
Our 150th committee continue to work away in the background and will shortly release a calendar of events for the 2022/2023 season so we can all plan ahead. Also, for players and any adventurous alickadoos, we will have some exciting news in the coming weeks but for now save the date of end of May -early June 2022, the Big Club Tour is back and it promises to be an epic trip!! Stay tuned.
As always, we wish good health to all, stay safe, stay in touch with fellow members and try to keep as active as possible. As Martin Luther King said in a different time with a different meaning but very apt for now.
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
Club President 2020/21