SUNDAY'S WELL have appointed former Munster player, Denis Hurley, who won a Heineken Cup against Toulouse in 2008, as their new head coach for the season.
The 36-years-old, who works with Rugby Players Ireland, has hit the ground running following the return to training last month.
“In the last couple of years I was living and working in Dublin and assistant coach with Blackrock College,” he said.
“My wife was expecting our second child so we decided to move back to Cork to be closer to grandparents.
“UCC and Sunday's Well were my dad’s (Gerry) clubs and I was looking to continue coaching without actually chasing it up.
“Frankie Moynihan and dad are friends for years and as the Well were looking for a coach it just evolved from there.
“I have a way of how I like to play the game and I want to see if guys can pick it up, but I don’t want to over-complicate it either.
“Hopefully, my methods and bank of knowledge can attract players because I enjoy coaching and want to get the best out of people.
“The key is to get fellows to rock up to training on Tuesday and Thursday in the middle of winter and be happy to be there, as well as getting games at the weekend. It’s there to be enjoyed and not seen as a chore.”
Hurley links up with Denis Corridan, the Director of Rugby who has a Strength@Conditioning and physiotherapy background.
Josh Featherstone is working on defence and back play while Kieran Ronan oversees the scrums.
The Well are looking for another whose expertise is in the line out.
“We’re back on the pitch again and have done a month’s training at this stage. There was no access to gyms during lockdown so fellows were doing stuff on their own. As I’m new to the group it was an opportunity to first meet up and then return to some bit of structure.
“It’s all ball in hand conditioning and skill work at the moment and it gives me an opportunity to get know the lads, who also get to know what I am all about as well.
“It’s enjoyable. Most evenings have been good weather-wise, apart from the odd wash-out, but the main thing is that fellows are back into a routine. It’s a chance to get out of the house and interact with people again.
“It’s an opportunity to enjoy it all, breaking free of the shackles.”
Club rugby is unsure of the new season’s structure after last year was cut off the knees before it could even generate a head of steam.
“There are two formats on the table with the season looking like starting now in October.
“It will either be a full All-Ireland League season of home and away games or like last year with the Community Series, Munster based, before Christmas then one round of games in the AIL.
“For us as a club, with three games up North, it’s not easy to arrange a squad of players to travel with all the implications of Covid as well as the cost, too.
“It would make a lot more sense to play more rugby locally, particularly with the chance to generate more money with clubhouses opening up.
“We’re only one club and the general feeling is that most want to have a complete series of AIL games.”
The Well have retained most of their squad from last season’s curtailed programme with a couple deciding to call time.
“Recruitment has been difficult and I think a lot of clubs are feeling the same.
“Work-wise, there seems to be a tendency towards Dublin, though we have a few new guys coming in, which is good.
A captain will be voted on by the squad in August. “Conor O’Brien has been captain for the last two seasons and he’s been on the ball with everything so far.”
Hurley’s work involves negotiating with the IRFU on behalf of professional players, generating sponsorship and dealing with former players.