Back in 2019, Roscrea senior team head coach John Maher was faced with a serious dilemma, he received a call from the mega overlords of world rugby to say that his team was far too old, thanks to Antoin, Malachy and octogenarian winger Ed Brophy, the average age of his squad was 56. He was warned that if he didnt do anything about it, he would be banned from wearing his lucky red tracksuit top for ever. John was devastated, that top had been in his family for 14 generations and had supernatural magical powers because it had never been washed. So John and his faithful sidekick Ray Maloney went in search of some new recruits. They knew they must be selective, they wanted candidates who were talented, youthful and devilishly handsome and so avoided laois. Much to their delight, their call was answered by a group of brave young men with dreams of becoming maroon warriors. Out of the mist came Ben Spencer, young, tall, athletic, with a running style like a cross between Paul O’Connell and a injured Giraffe. Then arrived Eoghan Kelly, ferocious and determined, like a young Richie McCaw with fabulous hair and a nonchalant disregard for the laws of rucking. Then as if by a divine miracle, out of the wilderness arrived Mark Dunne, a scrum half with a talent so incredulous and a grin so mesmerisingly cheeky that defenders were left dazed and confused in his wake. John has worn his red tracksuit top ever since!
John Maher on the Best Newcomer award recipient Mark Dunne.
“Mark turned up to preseason training last year having previously played in Kilkenny college. He immediately impressed at scrum half. Although shy off the pitch, once on the pitch he brims with confidence and loves ordering around the forwards. He’s a real tough cookie as many opponents have found out and works tirelessly in defence and attack. Mark has made a massive contribution to our squad and has the raw potential and talent to become a great Roscrea player in the future and will only improve as time goes on”