herald

Saturday 22 September 2018

Fairytale for Jack

WE have all read the fairy tale of Jack the Giant Killer, now we have a fairy tale come true, with our St Mary's Jack McGrath making his Ireland debut against Samoa.

And what a marvellous start to his international career with a man-of-the-match performance, sweeping all aside in the scrum and loose, winning turnovers and driving on with awesome power.

To think that Jack is only 24 years of age, which, in prop terms, is extremely young, so there should be much more to come.

He is unusual in modern international rugby, being a product of club rugby rather than exclusively from a rugby academy. He played as an Under-20 up through the ranks via J1s to senior.

Jack went to school at St Mary's College Rathmines. In rugby, where he excelled, he learned well from his coaches Rodney O'Donnell and Dave Breslin, with whom he has remained close. He deservedly got every rugby honour the school game could give.

Then Jack came up to the St Mary's club and has been exceptional in every way.

He would freely admit to the major influence and guidance Peter Smyth and Hugh Hogan have been to his rugby development. Big Jack's part in Mary's ultimate success in AIL in 2012 cannot be overstated.

The club heartily rejoices at Jack's deserved elevation and wish him success and happiness over many years to come both on and off the rugby field.

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