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'Our players are essentially pro' | Johne Murphy on Leinster Schools

Johne Murphy says Leinster Schools rugby essentially sees his Newbridge College players treated l...

Johne Murphy says Leinster Schools rugby essentially sees his Newbridge College players treated like professionals for three-quarters of the year.

The former Leicester and Munster man is involved with the coaching at the Kildare school, who had an excellent run to the final earlier this year before the global pandemic kicked in.

Murphy joined us on Keith Wood's State of the Union, and explained how the set-up at his school shows how seriously the Leinster Schools is treated.

"I'm in Newbridge College, our programme... some people won't like me saying it but our players are essentially professional rugby players for nine months of the year built around school time.

"They'll have three weight sessions, they'll be in for weights at seven o'clock on a Monday morning. There could be a review during the day or remote reviewing capacity.

"So I can tag a game and send clips to individual players. We'll train on a Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning they'll have weights again, we could have another review during the day.

"We'll be back on the pitch [on] Wednesday, they'll be off Thursday, then weights again, more rugby, team run, play Saturday."

Johne also explained the strength of the school's coaching ticket, although further additions are needed he says to continue competing at schools level.

"We have a physio that is a past pupil, he's not full-time but they can call at any stage. We have a full-time Strength and Conditioner that looks after the whole school, he does hockey as well.

"I'd be classed as a full-time employee from a rugby perspective, and then I have a forwards coach, a defence coach. The juniors are the same, they have an attack [coach], a defence coach, and each year has individual head coaches and assistants through the whole way.

"Our current second years, there are five coaches, three external out of the five, two externals in first year with three or four members of staff. TY [Transition Year] is all external [coaches], two of them... that's the level.

"You're essentially running a professional programme within a school, and there's a pathway for six years.

"We do not have a Director of Rugby [yet], it's going to take a period of time. We're not where we should be, and we've done reviews during Covid to show that.

"We're still not where we need to be if we want to repeat what we did this year and continue that way."

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Ger Gilroy Johne Murphy Keith Wood Keith Wood's State Of The Union Leinster Schools Off The Ball Rugby SOTU State Of The Union Steve Rooney