A Newmarket-on-Fergus native who is coaching one of the twenty teams involved in the Rugby World Cup is teaming up with The Clare Echo for the duration of the tournament.
Ged McNamara is the strength and conditioning coach of the Georgian national rugby team and will be penning a weekly diary for The Clare Echo from Japan giving our readers a unique insight into their preparations.
Three years ago, Ged made the brave decision to move to Tbilisi having applied for the role as an intern with the national rugby team. Within the space of a year, he was offered a contract to become the main S&C coach and has been there ever since.
His own playing career saw him line out as a winger with St Senans RFC in Shannon, his younger brothers Jamie and Darren have also featured in many outings for the Saints.
While studying at Tralee IT, Ged began working under Joe O’Connor and was given control of the S&C programme for the Clare minor hurlers. He pursued a Masters from Setanta College Thurles and simultaneously ran Gold Standard Fitness, what was a popular gym in Shannon. He also served as lead S&C coach with the Clare senior camogie team.
There is a further Clare connection to this year’s RWC in Japan. Cork native, Shane O’Leary, a past pupil of St Anne’s Community College, Killaloe is part of the Canada squad. In secondary school, he played with Scariff RFC, receiving a call up to the Munster U18s for his displays and he subsequently moved to Young Munster. His mother was born in New Brunswick making him eligible to line out for Canada.
In 2013, Shane was part of the Canada U20 squad that reached the final of the Junior IRB World Rugby Trophy, a tournament in which he finished as top scorer. He made his debut for the senior team in June 2017, ironically against Georgia. The former Grenoble and Connacht fly-half who now plays for Nottingham was not included in Kingsley Jones’ first 23 for their RWC opener against Italy.