Keane to coach Swords
SWORDS Rugby Club have pulled off a major coup with the appointment of Leinster star Chris Keane as first-team coach.
The Skerries scrum-half, who was part of the Heineken Cup-winning squad last season, takes the reigns at ALSAA in his first senior coaching position.
It's a serious statement of intent from the Greens, who will be aiming to hit the ground running when the Leinster League campaign kicks off in October.
"I'm delighted and I'm really enjoying it,' said Keane (pictured). "The first couple of weeks have been really positive.
"We've had a great turnout at training and a really enthusiastic bunch of lads. They all have a great attitude and are willing to listen and learn.
"If they keep that up for the whole year, I can't see why we won't start getting a few wins under our belts."
Keane, 30, is in his third season with his home province, having previously racked up 90 caps for Connacht. The former Belvedere College student has also been capped at international level at sevens, colleges and 'A' grade and he explained how the opportunity to return to Fingal came about.
"I met up with Alan Butler and Ben Traynor and they both had the same sort of opinions of where I wanted to go and where they wanted to go.
"They want the club to move forward, for the lads to become better players and to raise the profile of the club, getting more kids and players on board.
'There's a lot of work that needs to be done, but I'm looking forward to it. We have friendlies against Ashbourne, Garda and Barnhall in September, before the league.'
Swords have also appointed a new fitness coach, Simon Lear, while a recruitment drive has seen an influx of new faces arrive.
'We're delighted to have appointed a coach of the highest quality,' Swords RFC president, Alan Butler said. 'Chris brings with him a wealth of experience and a rugby knowledge that's second to none and we've already started to see his influence filter down.
'The numbers turning out at pre-season training are increasing by the week and the club committee has been working extremely hard. We are eager to put the club on the map and give a town the size of Swords a rugby club it deserves."