Wednesday 13 December 2017

Back to school as rugby ace Bernard hangs up his boots

FORMER Leinster player Bernard Jackman has been making the most of his free time since retiring from the team last May by hitting the books.

The Diary can reveal how the popular sportsman will be a familiar sight at Belfield campus for the next year after signing up to undertake a Masters degree in Sports and Exercise at UCD.

Jackman (34) has also taken on the job of head coach at Clontarf Rugby Club, which will see him occupied with training sessions every evening.

"I do miss the rugby but I've been kept very busy so I can't complain," he said. "The lads threw a nice going away party for myself, Mal Kelly and Girvan Dempsey last week so it was nice to catch up with everyone again.

"I'm enjoying studying again, although there's a lot of serious work involved. I won't have much free time at all because I'll be busy coaching at night.

"I'm lucky in that I can still combine the two. I also hope to do some more writing and maybe do some one-off articles around the time of the Six Nations."

Bernard has also been busy organising this Friday's much anticipated Rugby Lunch at the Shelbourne Hotel, which will take place in aid of The Children's Sunshine Home.

The event will offer die-hard fans the opportunity to get up close with rugby legends of the past and present including Shane Horgan, Malcolm O'Kelly, Shane Byrne, Alan Quinlan and Leo Cullen to name but a few.

MCs Brent Pope and Risteard Cooper will be engaging the rugby personalities in interviews and keeping guests entertained.

"It's going to be all about the guys on the day but you never know, maybe a few ladies will sneak in," Bernard said.

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