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Rugby duo assisting Rules squad

24 September 2008
Former Ireland and Toulouse rugby star Trevor Brennan and ex-Ireland fitness coach Mike McGurn are assisting the Ireland International Rules squad in their preparations for next month’s series in Australia.

Leixlip man Brennan, who is a Heineken Cup winner with Toulouse, and McGurn, who assisted Fermanagh footballers this season, have been overseeing the extended squad’s tackling drills ahead of the resumption of the series which has been marred by violent play in recent years.

Ireland manager Sean Boylan stressed that their involvement was not aimed at improving the squad’s physicality and added that they were offering their services for free.

"Both have played Gaelic games and both understand the game. If you remember two years ago the (Irish) team went out to Toulouse and we were extraordinarily well looked after by the people out there and Trevor took a couple of the training sessions then. And, so many of the coaches that are here were all involved with teams," he explained.

"We just wanted somebody to show it to them (tackling) and show it to them right and Mike McGurn as you know has been with the Irish rugby team for the seven years and is now with Ospreys. He did the training with Fermanagh this year.

"None of these lads would hear of taking a penny to come down and do it (in Dunboyne). They were just absolutely honoured as an Irishman to be there.

"So many want to see that we get it right and I am delighted to get any help that we can get."