The New Star by Eugene O’Brien Apr10


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The New Star by Eugene O’Brien

It was the end of Autumn, approaching the first of November to be exact, as the New Star went off to his first ever rugby training session. The club was a well known local one down in Tramore Road known as Sundays Well. There he stood in the middle of the changing room getting ready,trembling with fear in case the team wouldn’t accept him.While he was putting on his boots an old primary school classmate walked in and The New Star said:

“Wait…I know you.”


“I went to school with you, didn’t I?”

The other player replied: “Ya. You went to Ballygarvan N.S. didn’t you?”

The New Star replied: “Ya I did. Your name is Tim is’nt it?”

Tim said: “Ya.You joining up with us or you just training with us?”.

“Ya I’m joining up; I finally got the nerve to begin a new sport.”

Tim smiled and said: “Alright, that’s cool, just follow me out there when you’re ready and I’ll introduce you to the the lads”.

On the way out The New Star met a man he later discovered was the President of the Club, who also turned out to be involved with training the team. His name was Paul Dunton. He was a heavy, well-built man but he also had a presence about him that made the New Star think he was a legend in some way. He introduced The New Star to the team and the rest of the coaches. All of the nervousnous and jitters he had been feeling were now gone and The New Star finally got on with his first training experience in rugby. He felt at home at once. Why, he thought, had he not tried this ages ago?

A month passed since The New Star’s first training session and he had already attracted the attention of all the coaches.They were giving him fierce encouragement to stick with the rugby. They noticed that he had potential. One coach in particular, named James Shan, who was the backs’ coach was telling The New Star he would be very surprised if he didn’t see him in the first team next season as a flanker. The New Star developed his skills and his confidence grew for the rest of the season. His first full game was against Cork Con which was a really tough game for him. He found it very challenging but everyone said he had done well. He was being played on the wing and James Shan was on the sideline instructing him. During the game The New Star could hear people asking James if that really was his first game? One said he was making some tackles, adding that most guys starting late are scared going into contact, but not The New Star.

Ever since that game he has never missed a training session and goes to every game, even when he knows he wasn’t going to be picked. It’s all for the good of the team. He had to wait and train hard for another month until he finally got his chance again to play in a league game against Skibbereen away. He was put on for the last fifteen minutes and by God, that was where his career started as a flanker. He put in such a good performance, making so many tackles, the forward coach decided to make The New Star a flanker, his number seven to be precise.

In the very next training session coaches Sean Wallace and Paul Dunton came up to him and said: “You’re becoming a flanker.” The New Star Player was overjoyed with their decision. The training session was all about lineouts and he was being shown the moves as he was repeatedly thrown up in the air. On the first try he lost his balance and kicked an under-19 player in a tender spot!!! He was told from then on not to move his legs. He found it very hard to know all the orders he was being given but he was determined to learn. By the end of the night he had a lot of things to remember so when he went home started to watch videos of number 7s doing their job in scrum-time and lineout-time.

The Star Player did lineouts and scrums for the next four weeks until the game against Crosshaven RFC away on the 6th of April 2013. It was The New Star’s first game as number 7. He was excited to play against Crosshaven as he knew some lads on the team. One of his best friends Jordan Fahy was playing against him.

The New Star started on the field for the first time as a number 7. He was more nervous than ever and he only played forty minutes but he put his heart and soul into that game. Sean Wallace could see that The New Star looked absolutely shattered as he did more running than he ever thought possible.

When he was taken off he was asked by Sean: “How did you find that Eugene?”

“It was harder than I expected,” Eugene  replied, “but I really enjoyed it.”

“Good,” replied Sean. “On Monday we will do more line outs and scrums as you have a friendly against a Dublin School on Saturday. So, I hope to see you on as number 7 again”.

“Thanks Sean for all the support the past month,” Eugene said:  “I am really enjoying rugby and I am looking foward to next season.”