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SINCE 1873


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CEO Report

IRUPA CEO Omar Hassanein


Landmark Partnership Agreement


Sportsperson Retirement Relief


Irish Rugby Union Payers Association, 66 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2, Ireland Tel: +353 1 676 9680 Web:


Rob Kearney Interview


IRUPA Player’s Awards


Player’s Services Programme Update


Mentoring Programme


Rugby World Cup 2023


The Afterlife - Life After Retirement


IRUPA Information & Directory

“Leinster Boys in the Community” Published by: Clearpoint Media Ltd. on behalf of IRUPA. All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means in whole or in part without permission of the publisher is prohibited. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within this magazine is correct at the time of print, the publishers and IRUPA accept no responsibility whatsoever for any inaccuracies that may occur. All imagery copyright Sportsfile 2011

Clearpoint Media Ltd. 1st Floor 24a Newtown Park Blackrock Co. Dublin Tel: 012056700 E-mail:


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JUNE 2012



elcome to the June edition of ‘In Touch’ which promises to be our best yet. We’ve engaged a dedicated journalist to provide us with a greater range of informative and entertaining articles so I encourage you all to have a good read of the magazine and take an increased interest in the associations’ activity. From an association perspective, the first half of year 2012 has seen a number of changes take place at IRUPA, most of which have come as the product of a lot of hard work over the past 12 months. The greatest achievement has without question been the strengthening of our relationship with the sport’s governing bodies, most notably of that with the senior administrators at the IRFU. As a players association it is essential that players themselves take ownership of their own organisation, and in this respect I have been pleased to see a number of players proactively driving the needs and concerns of professional Irish rugby players. The likes of Brian O’Driscoll, Paul O’Connell, Shane Jennings, Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Reddan, Jerry Flannery, and David Wallace have all contributed directly in IRFU forums over the past few months, whilst a host of other players have contributed strongly in other areas. As a net result of our ongoing discussions, IRUPA and the IRFU have formed a revamped partnership agreement which seeks to promote stronger engagement and greater mutual understanding on issues. It

also provides commitment from the IRFU to increase their financial support of a range of IRUPA driven initiatives, including an expansion of the current Player Services Program and the introduction of a regulation scheme for Player Agents. The expansion of the Player Services Program is particularly important as it will allow us to employ a second Player Services Advisor to operate at Leinster and Ulster, whilst Hamish will be focused entirely on Munster and Connacht. This doubling of resources ensures we can now offer a significantly broader range of benefits to all players including structured programs around career development, personal development, financial structuring and player brand awareness to name but a few key areas. The financial model, whilst being supported by the IRFU, also involves a commitment from IRUPA as the collective player representative body. Amongst the other activity going on IRUPA, there has been strong progress on various outstanding tax issues, a rollover of the current international match fees agreement, an anticipated resolution of the standard injury clause, and the negotiation of a renewed income protection insurance offering to players. The renewal of the said insurance policy has been a particularly challenging one, with a proportionately high volume of claims inevitably resulting in a policy of reduced benefit. Players will have the option to assess the detail of the new policy over the next two months with the new policy commencement date being Aug 1st.

On a more festive note, IRUPA once again celebrated its annual Player Awards night with a crowd of almost 600 people packing in to the Burlington in early May. Congratulations to all of the awards winners, particularly to Rob Kearney who won the Players Player and also the Supporters Player award on the night. I would like to thank our Awards sponsors for their vital contribution to our association – O2, Volkswagen, Hibernia College, Nature Valley and Newstalk. Finally I’d like to congratulate each of you on what has been another successful season of rugby at both international and provincial level. Rugby is certainly on the crest of a wave at the moment, and it is the highly professional approach that players are taking both on and off the field which is helping to continually drive the Irish rugby brand forward. Enjoy the break over the coming weeks and I look forward to seeing you out at the provinces in August.

Omar Hassanein Chief Executive


JUNE 2012


IRUPA and IRFU Agree New Landmark Partnership Agreement


RUPA is delighted to announce that we have agreed terms on a new partnership agreement with the IRFU, which will see both our organisations working more constructively together on various initiatives. The past 18 months has consequently seen a raft of positive change, with the revamped partnership agreement being the net result of productive and continuous discussion between IRUPA and the IRFU. Within the agreement, there is a commitment from the IRFU to actively and financially support a range of IRUPA driven initiatives, including an expansion of the current Player Services Programme and the introduction of a regulation scheme for player agents, allowing for greater transparency and security for players.

• 3 Year Agreement Signals Greater Collaboration Between both Organisations • Increased Funding to Support Expansion of IRUPA Player Services Programmes • Increased Focus on Education, Personal • Development and Financial Planning • IRUPA to Introduce New Agent Accreditation Scheme by End of 2012

Additionally, the parties have both committed to engage more regularly and openly, allowing for greater mutual understanding on ongoing issues facing professional rugby players. Commenting on the announcement IRUPA Chief Executive Omar Hassanein said: “This represents a landmark change in the way players and administrators interact in Irish Rugby. As a player group, we are pleased to have the opportunity to work together with the IRFU on vitally important projects in Irish Rugby and are grateful for their cooperation and support. The Player Services Program is particularly important as it provides the entire off field support structure that players require in their lives including career development, personal development, financial structuring and Player brand awareness to name but a few key areas. This certainly is a step in the right direction.” IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne also welcomed the new agreement and said: “I believe the last 12 months have been a watershed in terms of the co-operation and understanding between both the IRFU and IRUPA. The IRFU is totally committed to assisting IRUPA in delivering key services to players to support them as professionally off the pitch as on the pitcht. As professional rugby moves closer towards the end of its second decade of existence, the challenges that face our players are increasing and both IRUPA and the IRFU recognised that providing for these needs had to be improved to keep pace with

the changes in the game. I would like to compliment Omar and his executive along for their great work over the last 18 months that has brought us to this point and look forward to a continued close relationship over the next three years.” IRUPA Chairman Brian O’Driscoll also believed this was a positive step for player welfare in Ireland and said: “Developing stronger services for the players was certainly one of the key goals that the IRUPA

executive identified last year as part of the longer term strategy for the organisation. A big part to that was obviously building a stronger relationship with the IRFU as there is no doubt that by working together can only benefit both the players and the game in Ireland. The new agreement is incredibly positive step and hopefully it can provide a roadmap for player welfare into the future.”

IRUPA NEWS IRFU Sports Medicine Conference


he IRFU recently hosted a Sports Medicine Conference at the Aviva stadium, with the objective of the conference to promote injury prevention in the sport of rugby union to the Sports and Exercise Medicine community. There were presentations from international and national leading experts in Sports and Exercise Medicine, including IRB Chief Medical Officer Dr. Martin Raftery and Kings College/ RFU medical representative Dr. John Brooks. The conference attracted over 150 delegates including physicians, physiotherapists, nutritionists and strength & conditioning coaches from international and national organisations, universities, private clinics, clubs and schools. From a professional player’s perspective, IRUPA CEO Omar Hassanein attended on the day, whilst recently retired flanker David Wallace formed part of an interactive panel and gave an insightful view on the nature of sports injuries and strategy towards prevention.

JUNE 2012


att McCullough won the awards below after graduating top of his MBA class from Ulster University. As a professional rugby player you develop many skills such as commitment, discipline, and focus required in the business environment. Matt’s commitment to his MBA studies have proven his worth in an academic setting and forged the way for him to develop a career path into the financial services sector in London. Sir Desmond Lorimer MBA Scholars Award for Best Overall MBA Student Mivan International Strategy MBA Prize for Excellence (best student in International Strategic Management) Head of Department Award for best overall student in semester 1.

Just Golf Treats Member Deal

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You can nominate your club and get access to the golf deals here:

Retirement Wishes


RUPA send their best wishes for the future to several players retiring from professional rugby this season. Retirement always comes too soon and in many cases is forced upon you due to injury. All of you have made huge contributions to the game in your Province and in Ireland and we are sure you will be equally successful in your next career choice. Those retiring this season include Shane Horgan, Leinster; David Wallace, Denis Leamy, Jerry Flannery, Mick O’Driscoll, John Hayes, and Darragh Hurley all Munster; Ray Ofisa, Keith Mathews and Brian Tuohy all Connacht; and Simon Danelli in Ulster. IRUPA is here to also support you as past players and we hope to develop closer links with our alumni in the years to come, we are only a phone call away.

Matt McCullough


RUPA have partnered with Just Treats Golf, to bring you a massive 50-70% off fantastic golf deals and to let you support your local rugby club. Just Treats Golf is an Irish website that offers 2-3 amazing golf deals per week. These include green fees at top courses, tuition and golf trips. (Home and abroad.)

Zurich IRUPA Q&A

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There is no cost to receive our deal alerts You get 50-70% off top Golf courses (Green fees, tuition and trips) all over Ireland You have the option to nominate your local rugby club so they receive a % of the revenue It is win-win for everyone

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any thanks to Jerry Flannery and Shane Horgan who represented IRUPA at an event for our new partners Zurich. The Q&A was hosted by Alan Quinlan who did a great job managing a very boisterous panel.

Contact: Alan Miller

Tel: 00 353 21 4270505, Mobile: 00 353 87 6494095, Email: 9, Eastgate Business Park, Little Island, Cork.


JUNE 2012

Keeping Stress at Bay


tress is a major contributor to illness and absenteeism and can lead to depression. Laura Bury looks at stress and how to counteract its damaging effects.

order them according to importance and carry them out. Simply crossing something off your list can take a weight off your mind.

Stress is an integral part of life and can be positive, adding to performance and helping to achieve goals and targets. Our natural stress, or ‘fight or flight’, response helps our body and mind to react to a threat – it is the body’s way of preparing us for a challenge. But this is only designed as a short-term solution.

Don’t procrastinate. Make achievable goals and carry them out – avoiding what you have to do will only lead to more stress in the long term. Exercise. Regular exercise, particularly rhythmic exercises (jogging) and meditative exercise (yoga), is a brilliant way to manage stress.



Clean out. Keep at least one space in your home and work environment decluttered. Having a place that is calm and peaceful to retreat to is extremely important.

Finally, try to learn to accept those things that you cannot change. Some sources of stress are unavoidable. You can’t prevent or change stressors such as the death of a loved one or a serious illness. When this is the case, the best way to cope with

How much is too much? Chronic stress occurs when an individual is under strain repeatedly or for extended periods. This will cause those parts of the body and brain affected by the stress response to be chronically over- or underused, adversely affecting the immune system and lowering its response to infection, leading to a propensity for illness. Prolonged or persistent stress is damaging to health and will inevitably affect productivity and performance. What causes stress? There are many factors that can cause a person to feel stressed; it can be a single event, a build up of seemingly small issues, or pressure an individual puts themselves under – but what causes one person to feel under strain, may not affect another. It is important to remember that each person’s ability to cope is different and will depend on their perception of a situation, whether or not they feel in control, their personality, and their attitude. Stress can have a negative impact on health and, if left unmanaged, can lead to depression, so tackling it is important. What you can do?

• •

To counter stress, there are a number of things you can do, such as:

Learn to say ‘no’. To stop yourself from being put under undue stress it’s vital to learn how to say ‘no’ and to give clear boundaries. Manage your time. Each morning write out tasks that need to be done,

Eat a healthy diet. Eating well will bolster the immune system and make you feel better, physically and mentally. Avoiding stimulants, such as caffeine, or depressants such as alcohol, will greatly help your mental state. Socialize. It is important that you enjoy yourself and spend time with others. It will help revive your spirit. Talk. Speaking to a friend or family member, or utilising support structures such as employee assistance programmes (EAP), can greatly reduce stress. Sometimes we simply need to talk and to feel we have support. Relax. Spending just ten minutes per day doing relaxation exercises, such as mediation, will help keep you in balance. If you are feeling particularly stressed, mindfulness meditation is

stress is to try to accept things as they are. Acceptance may be difficult, but in the long run, it’s better than fighting against a situation you can’t change. Laura Bury, Consultants.



EAP Consultants is a leading Irish Employee Assistance Programme and training provider, looking after the wellbeing of IRUPA Members. EAP delivers a range of services, including counselling, support, coaching, HR consultancy and mediation. For more information call the confidential IRUPA Member Helpline:

1800 201346 Republic of Ireland 0808 234 5183 Northern Ireland


JUNE 2012


Kiltipper Woods Physiotherapy & Aquatic Therapy Clinic


iltipper Woods Physiotherapy offers expert landbased physiotherapy for a wide range of conditions, including:

Ligament sprains and tears (e.g. post ACL repair)

Muscular strains and tears

Rehabilitation following dislocated joints

Rehabilitation following fractured bones

Back pain and injury

Neck pain and injury


Repetitive motion injury

Orthopaedic surgery

Prolonged inactivity/immobility

Dry Needling As well as the traditional methods of therapy available, Kiltipper Woods have also introduced an alternative therapy called Dry Needling. Dry Needling is the insertion of sterile single use acupuncture needles directly into myofascial trigger points. Myofascial trigger points are essentially multiple knots within a muscle fibre which can cause and contribute to pain within the body. The needles are inserted into the skin and directly into the myofascial trigger points. Inserting needles into trigger points causes biomechanical changes which release the trigger point and alleviate pain. Very often upon insertion of the needles, a “local twitch response” is elicited. This is a desirable effect, which signifies the first step to breaking the pain cycle and releasing tight trigger points within muscles. Dry Needling is strictly based upon Western medicine principles of treating myofascial trigger points, which are different to traditional acupuncture points. Dry Needling can be used to treat a variety of conditions including back and neck pain, shoulder and arm pain, headaches, buttock and leg pain (including sciatic pain), calf tightness or cramps. “We have all of the best equipment to facilitate rehabilitating patients after knee or shoulder surgeries and all of the apparatus required to allow us to strengthen the athlete back to competiveness quicker. We have a large open bright space to treat patients which makes a big difference to the process as well,” commented Nicola. For further information you can visit: Email: | Tel: 01 - 4625277

Kiltipper Road, Dublin 24 Tel: 01 4625277 Email: | Web:


JUNE 2012


Kiltipper Woods Physiotherapy and Aquatic Therapy Centre


Ireland’s most innovative and dedicated centre for injury rehabilitation

iltipper Woods Physiotherapy and Aquatic Therapy Clinic specialises in musculoskeletal, neurological and sports rehabilitation on an outpatient basis. Our Swimex 1000T hydrotherapy pool offers a complete isokinetic workout, putting rehabilitation programs into a new league. A laminar water current creates a powerful and consistent wall-of-water resistance for swimming, running and specific exercise programmes. This is an ideal environment for athletes who require non-weight bearing rehabilitation, in order to optimise their recovery from injury and maintain fitness. The pool also utilises an integrated underwater treadmill along with the water current technology.

people who have sports and lower back injuries. The use of the pool with the integrated treadmill allows athletes to function quicker because they are able to do work in the pool sooner then what they can on the land because there is less bearing going through their limbs and also the warm temperature of the water allows your muscles to relax and eases the pain and stiffness, making it easier to exercise.” For further information you can visit: Email: Tel: 01 - 4625277

The hydrotherapy pool at Kiltipper Woods Physiotherapy and Aquatic Therapy Centre is the only one of its kind in Ireland that contains an underwater treadmill, resistance jets, and massage wand. Benefits of aquatic therapy in a Swimex pool: 1. Potential for early rehabilitation from injury. 2. Helps maintain physical conditioning throughout the entire rehab process. 3. Allows the principles of water to counteract gravity and supply support, thus reducing pain, spasm and swelling. 4. Uses the resistance of water as an effective and safe means of performing strengthening, functional and sports-specific activities. Head of Rehab, Nicola Clegg, explains the method. “We use the Hydrotherapy pool for a lot of rehabilitation work with

Kiltipper Road, Dublin 24 Tel: 01 4625277 Email: | Web:


JUNE 2012



JUNE 2012


Mammoth Sport - Sleep Better, recover faster , perform better


ammoth Sport Ltd is one of the UK’s leading authorities in biological performance and recovery. Mammoth’s product portfolio centres on new sleep technologies that enhance sleep, recovery and human performance via a unique bed and mattress range.

Max mattress technologies are designed to:

the key criteria within the products’ development.

help relieve back pain and aches

help ensure an undisturbed, deep sleep. Every night.

Mammoth Sport’s origins lie in the specialist field of the British medical devices industry. The experiences of Mammoth’s founder and Managing Director, John Tuton, involved the application of specialist equipment within critical healthcare settings, including orthopaedics, spinal injuries, burns and intensive care.

offer the ultimate in comfort through legitimate anatomical support.

The resulting end product has ensured Mammoth Sport Ltd now enjoys affiliations with other leading health, educational and sporting authorities that include the University of Northumbria Sleep Science Centre, The Newcastle University school of Bio-Sciences, the British Athletes Association, the English and Irish Rugby Players Associations and the UK Chiropractic Patients Association to name a few.

These environments combined the world’s best medical equipment to help keep alive and heal very poorly patients. In these settings, imbalances in body heat, sweat, hydration and circulation often meant the difference between life and death. Developed by the British and U.S, it is the medical device innovations within these chronic health settings that Mammoth Sport Ltd has taken to another level via its modern V-Max mattress technology structure. Mammoth now lead the way ensuring new mattress technologies are available and affordable to the wider health conscious public for the first time. Mammoth wants its customers to be able to perform at their optimum every day, whatever their endeavours. Therefore, the new Mammoth V-

How it all started: Following a serious rugby injury to his rib cage in 2004, Mammoths creator, and keen sports enthusiast, John Tuton, could not get the pain relief, support and sleep he needed through his recovery from a traditional pocket sprung mattress. Due to the excessive heat build up from the ‘temperature sensitive’ nature of memory foam, he even found that the leading memory foam mattress was not up to the job either. John therefore used his experience in the specialist medical equipment arena to develop a mattress like no other. From the specialist treatment environments, John used innovative high-specification materials that had been tested and endorsed by the British public healthcare authority, (The Department of Health), to design a mattress that offered genuine support and comfort so he could enjoy pain free, restorative, and undisturbed sleep, to help him get back on his feet. Ensuring optimum postural support and pressure relief, whilst avoiding excessive heat and sweating were therefore

Combined with clinical research on its raw materials by the British Department of Heath, Mammoth Sport Ltd really stands out against what the rest of the world has to offer within mattress technologies. Customer Testimonial: I am a Strength and Conditioning coach and have somehow found myself back playing rugby at the age of 42. I know the importance of rest and recovery and thought age was catching up with me, dragging my weary frame out of bed on a Sunday morning (and Monday, and Tuesday). Not anymore! Since buying the mattress I feel properly rested for the first time in years and my recovery from games is so much quicker. Train hard, eat well and rest easy (on a Mammoth mattress) Graham E (Warwickshire) For further information go to

JUNE 2012


Leinster Boys in the Community


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McKenna Durcan Solicitors | Contact: Peter McKenna, Partner 66 Lower Leeson Steet, Dublin 2 | Ph: 01 637 1910 |

JUNE 2012

Sportsperson Retirement Relief of sportsperson (e.g. professional rugby);

• •


ntroduced in 2002, the sportsperson tax relief is designed to be a form of retirement relief for specified classes of sportspersons, which includes professional rugby players. Indeed, for sportspersons who qualify, the relief can provide a valuable lump sum that can help the sportsperson with the transition from his playing career, in particular where that career is cut short by injury.

Must permanently retire from playing professional sport; and Must be tax resident in Ireland in the tax year in which he permanently retires from playing professional sport.

The relief operates by allowing the sportsperson to claim an income tax deduction of 40% of his earnings for:

• •

The tax year in which he permanently retires; and For up to a maximum of nine tax years prior to the year of retirement (i.e. a maximum of ten tax years in total).

In order to qualify for the relief, the sportsperson:

The relief only applies for the purposes of income tax, it does not apply for the purposes of PRSI, the Income Levy or the Universal Social Charge.

Typically, the sportsperson would claim

Must be one of the specified classes

for the years immediately prior to the year in which he retires, as these years would generally be his best years from an earnings perspective. However, the sportsperson can claim for up to any nine tax years prior to the year of retirement, provided that he was tax resident in Ireland for any tax year claimed. It is important to note that only earnings from the actual playing of professional sports qualify for the relief (including match appearance fees, win bonuses etc), any income from sponsorships, endorsements, image rights etc. do not qualify for the relief. A claim for the relief is made by filing a tax return (typically a Form 12) with the Revenue Commissioners for the year in which the sportsperson permanently retires. The sportsperson should also include a letter to Revenue confirming the date on which he permanently retired from playing the sport and state the tax years in respect of which he wishes to make a claim.

Sportsperson Retirement Relief

If the relief is claimed and the sportsperson subsequently recommences playing professional sport, the relief will be withdrawn. However, this would not prevent a subsequent claim for relief when the sportsperson ultimately retires. The following example illustrates a claim made by “R Player” for sportsperson relief. R Player received his first professional contract in 2007 and permanently retired from playing professional rugby on 31 December 2011. In each year, R Player’s sportsperson relief is 40% of his gross salary before any other tax reliefs (e.g. personal pension contributions). For example, in 2010 R Player’s sportsperson relief is €26,000, being 40% of his gross earnings figure of €65,000. R Player’s income tax liability is then recalculated on his earnings after the sportsperson relief i.e. in 2010 his earnings after the relief is €31,000 and his recalculated income tax liability on this

€31,000 is €2,540. As R Player originally paid income tax of €12,066 (on his original taxable income of €57,000), he is due an income tax refund of €9,526 in respect of 2010. Note that R Player’s entitlement to income tax relief for his personal pension contributions is unaffected by his claim for sportsperson relief. For more information, please contact Ciarán Medlar Partner – Head of Sports Advisory Unit BDO (01) 4700 280 Or Rob Stack Manager - Sports Advisory Unit BDO (01) 4700 27 5


JUNE 2012


ROB KEARNEY INTERVIEW “Its been a long season! Starting with Pre season for the RWC last July through to our holidays in the later part of June. We are all a bit physically tired, but the opportunity to go to NZ and play three tests against the All Blacks is great and its the global benchmark...”

Q. Hi Rob, congrats on the IRUPA award - what was you’re reaction when you were told?
 RK. I was naturally delighted! I suppose it means more when the players you play with for Leinster & Ireland and against in the other provinces recognise your good season, its a pretty good feeling. Q. ROG and Stephen Ferris were also in the running for the prize - but who else came close, in your opinion?
 RK. Ronan and Stephen had great seasons too, no question, but its hard to single out individuals from the team you play in week in week out. There is a lot of good emerging talent in Ireland too that will no doubt feature in the coming years...
 Q. Craig Gilroy’s try won Try of the Year but what other tries stood out for you this year?

RK. For me, personally the Brian try against Cardiff, its really great when a set piece move that you practice week in week out comes together in a game and results in a try..
 Q. Leinster and Ulster in the H-Cup Final, Leinster in the Rabo final - why are Irish teams dominating at club level?
 RK. Its a hard one to answer, but the obvious factors are the strength and depth that we have and the very good provincial academy systems and going further back than this, the under age structures in place through out the country
. Q. Elsewhere in this month’s magazine we’ve looked at how retired players have benefitted from IRUPA - how do current players, like yourself, use it?
 RK. Its a voice for all current professionals and returned too, an avenue of support

JUNE 2012

for a short careers that most players experience. Its great that players who have to retire early through injury have a support mechanism to integrate them into the real world and for us current players its great to have a collective


body to look after our best interests from contracts, though to education and all the factors that can be overlooked in a busy on field career...
 Q. As regards Player Welfare, you’re just


finishing off on a 2nd trip to NZ in less than a year after a massive season - are players playing too much?
 RK. Its been a long season! Starting with Pre season for the RWC last July through to our holidays in the later part of June. We are all a bit physically tired, but the opportunity to go to NZ and play three tests against the all blacks is a great one as they are the current global bench mark. Player Welfare is very important to us all and I think we have a very good provincial and national care structure in place. Q. And getting a holiday this year at all or you straight back to pre-season? RK. Holidays begin after the last test and ill spend some time away with friends and family and switch off from rugby with only 4 weeks, you must enjoy the break and come back to pre season physically and mentally fresh!

Abbey Chiropractic & Wellness Centre

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Opening Hours Monday: 9am – 8pm Tuesday: 9am – 8pm Wednesday:9am – 8pm Thursday: 9am – 8pm Friday: 9am – 8pm Saturday: 10am – 2pm (every second Saturday)

Call today to see how we can help

01 8734363

46 Parnell Square West, Dublin 1 | Opposite the Rotunda Hospital

JUNE 2012

A Brief Outline of Chiropractic


he basic concept upon which Chiropractic is built is that function of the body is governed by the brain and monitored by the nervous system. Internally this works almost like a fancy telephone system, the brain being the switchboard and the nerves being all the phone cables that branch out carrying messages to and from the brain to all areas of the body. The main “cable” that leave the brain at the base of the skull is called the Spinal Cord – and we all know how important it is to protect this – so surrounding the spinal cord, all the way down to your bum, is a row of bones called vertebrae which collectively is known as the spine. Along with allowing us to stand erect, the purpose of the spine is to protect this very delicate “communication cable”, the Spinal Cord and allow it to safely branch out to all other part of the body. At various points in the spine, smaller “phone cables” branch from the main cord and these run to and through the muscles and organs of the body. They pick up information from the organs and muscles and feed this back to the brain – these messages can include a temperature that needs to be cooled, a fatigued muscle that needs more nutrition, lack of blood flow to an organ, pain, smoke in the lungs etc

etc. When the brain receives the information it then relays an order, via the nerve channels, to that muscle or organ. For example if you get a cramp in your hamstring, the nerves around the muscle detect the lactic acid and the pain and they pass the message to the brain. The brain may then decide to release a hormone that helps dissipate the acid and relieve the pain, thus relaxing the muscle out of the cramp. One of the strongest communications these nerves pick up is pain and this means that there is something needing attention. But what happens if you damage the protective casing for this phone system – the spine!?? Heavy contact sport certainly has its effect on the spine. A rough tackle, a fall or even a twist in the wrong direction can cause the bones of the back, the vertebrae, to shift out of place. When this happens, internally a couple of things can happen also: the vertebra can trap a nerve causing immediate, severe, shooting pain when you move that area or the vertebra knocked out of place is now blocking the nerve flow that it was meant to be protecting. This may not cause immediate pain, especially in the area of the knock but you may start to see symptoms in the area or organs that should have been monitored by that nerve. For example the nerves branching from the lower back service the bowel area. If you got a knock to the lower back, you may have the pain go away in a few hours or days but then later, even years later, you may start


to experience bowel problems like constipation or diarrhoea. You might put this down to getting older or eating the wrong kinds of food, but all too often common ailments like this can be traced back to a spinal injury or misalignment. This is now where chiropractic comes in. On your first visit to the chiropractor you will get a full physical examination to determine your overall and spinal health. On your second visit you will receive a report of findings and start your first treatment. Chiropractic treatment is hands on and is a gentle manipulation of the bones of the back to tease them into their correct place again. Treatment is fast and pain free but has given tremendous relief to the patient. During your second visit your doctor of chiropractic will advise how many treatments will be necessary to get your back into good shape again. Treatment is completely natural and highly compliments other therapies such as physio and massage. Using chiropractic to correctly align the spine makes it less likely to pull muscles or further stress or strain the body. When your body is in good shape it is in control and when it is in control you can push it to the max and get the best out of life.

Abbey Chiropractic & Wellness Centre | Tel: 01 873 4363


IRUPA PLAYERS AWARDS MAY 9 2012 What did we learn from the IRUPA awards 2012? Well we learned that Martin Bayfield is colossal and makes everyone that isn’t Brad Thorn look like a midget. We learned that the Burlington Bar staff are extremely pleasant, especially at 4am. But most importantly we were reminded that Ireland has some great talent out there representing both club and country on the Rugby pitch.

The Burlington was the usual hive of activity on Wednesday May 9th. Players from all ends of the country arrived in tuxedos and formal wear, wives and girlfriends posed for photos, and journalists made small talk whilst carefully keeping an eye on the status of the free bar. And with Heineken and Wolf Blass providing the juice, it was left to former English Rugby lock (in fairness, where else would he have played?) Martin Bayfield to provide the entertainment for the night. And, of course, with a slightly cynical Irish audience, it’s always good for an Englishman to take the piss out of himself. “For about 10 years after rugby I got involved in the Harry Potter films...I was Robbie Coltrane’s arse” he announced. Fair enough, we all have to earn a crust Martin...

Most scribes have since agreed with Rob Kearney’s choice as IRUPA Player of the Year, and Rob was as gracious and polite as ever in accepting the award. The County Louth man has since gone on to pick up ERC Player of the Year, following a fantastic season.

Peter O’Mahony was busy preparing for a Munster match so he couldn’t pick up the IRUPA Young Player of the Year award, but his father accepted the award on behalf of the back-row forward who claimed his first Irish cap this year.

Gracious and polite was not the style of Ali Birch however, who accepted the Try of the Year award on behalf of his Ulster team-mate Craig Gilroy, who won the gong for his magnificent score against Munster in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

The same match prevented Mick O’Driscoll from picking up the IRUPA Hibernia College Medal for Excellence, which rewards on-field effort combined with off-field commitment to the game.

“Och, i dunno, I woulda scored that meself” said the shy and retiring Ulster flanker who subsequently posed for the camera like he was the only man to score against Munster. Ever. And on the subject of Munstermen, John “The Bull” Hayes left the farm in Cappamore for the day, scrubbed up and squeezed into the tux to be inducted into the 2012 Hall of Fame. Irish captain Brian O’Driscoll was on hand to present the former prop with the award, and there wasn’t one pair of hands in the ballroom that wasn’t applauding the decision. His former team-mate Alan Quinlan drew guffaws from the crowd when he took the mick out of Hayes during his post-dinner question and answers session, but made sure the two biggest lads in the room, Brad Thorn and Martin Bayfield, were onstage with him when he did...

His former teammate, the recently retired David Wallace, was on hand to accept the award, pose for photos, shake the hands, receive the claps on the back and drink the few pints all on behalf of the bould Mick. Teammates are always there for each other in Rugby... And finally, what is an unsung player? A player that has no songs written about him? Well it’s hard to rhyme anything with Kevin McLaughlin, I suppose. Anyway, the Leinster man was on hand to pick up the gong for his constant hard graft on the pitch this season, for which he received no songs at all. A good night for all and a late night for many, the 10th IRUPA awards continued the tradition of showcasing the best Irish Rugby has to offer, with each winner on the night humbled to accept an award voted for by those they respect the most. Eoin McHugh

JUNE 2012 IRUPA PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2012 Winner: Rob Kearney Leinster Other Nominations:

Stephen Ferris Ronan O’Gara

Ulster Munster

IRUPA NATURE VALLEY YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2012 Winner: Peter O’Mahony Munster Other Nominations: Craig Gilroy Ian Madigan

Ulster Leinster

IRUPA VOLKSWAGEN TRY OF YEAR 2012 Winner: Craig Gilroy - Munster v Ulster - Heineken Cup Other Nominations: Brian O’Driscoll - Leinster v Cardiff Blues - Heineken Cup Niall Ronan - Llanelli Scarlets v Munster - Heineken Cup

IRUPA HIBERNIAN COLLEGE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE Winner: Mick O’Driscoll Munster Other Nominations: Shane Jennings Leinster Ronan Loughney Connacht IRUPA HALL OF FAME 2012 Inducted: John Hayes


IRUPA O2 UNSUNG HERO 2012 Winner: Kevin McLaughlin


Nominations: Chris Henry Ulster Ronan Loughney Connacht




PLAYER SERVICES PROGRAMME UPDATE The end of each domestic season in professional rugby not only means a well earned rest for many and an international tour for a select few but also spells retirement or a club move to some. This season will see 36 of our current members either retiring or moving to another club. Unfortunately nine of our playing membership has been forced to retire through injury, three have moved clubs within Ireland, fifteen have moved to clubs abroad and nine are planning to enter the workplace or study fulltime.

JUNE 2012

Mick O’Driscoll 33 year old Mick is retiring this season after a long and distinguished career with Munster and Ireland. Having amassed over 200 caps for Munster and 23 for Ireland Mick has always led from the front and captained Munster many times. A Cork man Mick attended Presentation Brothers College prior to graduating from University College Cork with a BSc in Accounting. He also went on to complete a Post Grad in Food Marketing at UCC and is currently working towards a business start up in conjunction with a Certificate in Enterprise through Cork Institute of Technology. Mick is upbeat about life after rugby and is currently planning a step into business. “The Certificate in Enterprise run by Cork Institute of Technology and IRUPA has been excellent in terms of creating a network of people with experience and expertise that I can access. I have a number of business opportunities that I am currently pursuing and I am excited by this development.”

Mick is also heavily involved as a Director with the charity Suicide Aware and acts as a mentor to many of the younger Munster squad members. All this off-pitch activity contributed to Mick being voted the recipient of the Hibernia College Medal for Excellence at the recent IRUPA Awards. “I was honoured to receive the award from my peers and certainly believe that all professional players need to give back to the community that supports us so strongly.” Mick is married with a young family and we wish him well in the start of his new career.

Due to the temporary nature of a career in professional rugby, players need to develop an interest or qualifications outside the game. Why not take control of your off-pitch activities and contact me regarding options available to you. I can offer you a confidential and independent advisory service to prepare you for the next phase of your life. I am easily contactable and my details are below. Below are two life stories of individuals moving onto the next phase of their life. Hamish Adams Player Services Advisor Mobile +353 86 350 2552

“The Certificate in Enterprise run by Cork Institute of Technology and IRUPA has been excellent in terms of creating a network of people with experience and expertise that I can access”.


JUNE 2012

Brian Tuohy “Rugby has been very kind to me over the years, I have had the opportunity to travel and experience life”.

From Shannon in Limerick to Munster to Rotherham to Cornish Pirates and to Connacht, Brian has experienced rugby across the globe and also represented Ireland A and Ireland Sevens along the way. Unfortunately on New Year’s Day in the provincial derby with Leinster Brian suffered a serious double break of his leg and the rehabilitation from this injury has been very slow and difficult. At 29 years of age and off contract from the end of June Brian hasn’t had clubs beating the door down but he is focussed on his rehabilitation and the next phase of his life. “Rugby has been very kind to me over the years, I have had the opportunity to travel and experience life, I have made friends for life through rugby and although disappointed to suffer such a serious injury I will make the most of this set back to prepare for the next opportunity that comes along.”

As a carpenter by trade Brian is looking at educational opportunities to up-skill and develop personally whilst in rehab mode. He also acknowledges the support his family have given him since moving home to Limerick. “My family have always been very close and supportive of my rugby career and although not in ideal circumstances it is great to be back in Limerick with them.” We wish Brian well with his recovery and IRUPA will be assisting him in every way possible.

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”

Ireland rugby outhalf Jonathan Sexton with Ernst&Young partner Frank OKeeffe (centre) and Emmet O’Neill, chief executive of Smiles Dental.

The rollout of the IRUPA mentoring programme has been in full swing and we now have sixty provincial players and twenty national squad players partnered with experienced mentors from the business community across the four provinces.

“Your mentor commits to serve as a resource for the individual. They will help connect mentees to other professionals to allow them to hear different perspectives”.

The concept of a mentor is not new, and is a service offering we have provided to individuals for the past four years through the Player Services Programme, however when Padraig O’Ceidigh joined the IRUPA Board early in 2011 the concept was taken to a new level. Padraig was instrumental in establishing the link with the national squad mentors through Ernst & Young and from the positive feedback received from our members this concept was then extended into the provinces. In Connacht we have utilised Padraig’s extensive local network of mentors, in Leinster the Young Presidents Organisation through Chairman Donal Tierney have provided access to mentors. In Ulster Ken

Belshaw has driven the programme through the Institute of Directors and in Munster again we have accessed mentors through Padraig and John Bowen. Mentoring involves negotiating ideas and activities with your mentor, being proactive to ensure that you stay on task to meet identified goals and keeping your mentor informed of progress. You will need to accept feedback and suggestions from your mentor while following through on requests made by your mentor. In return your mentor commits to serve as a resource for the individual. They will help connect mentees to other professionals to allow them to hear different perspectives, will be prepared to answer questions regarding education, current and past positions, your career field, industry, and working conditions in a forthright and honest manner. The value of a quality mentor to a professional sportsperson is endorsed in many career transition studies and we at IRUPA believe this programme is not only a very powerful personal development tool but also a strong link to the community for us all.

JUNE 2012


For further information on the mentor programme or to access a mentor contact Hamish Adams.

Hamish Adams Player Services Advisor IRUPA Mobile +353 86 3502552 Email: Web: Skype: hamishadams

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hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup”. “We’ve been looking into the feasibility and will be having further discussions about it with the Government in the months ahead” The news has been warmly received by IRUPA also, CEO Omar Hassanein: “It’s still a remote notion but a very exciting one for Ireland and Irish rugby. The profile of such an event would have a huge impact on rugby in this country not to mention the economic and social benefits of such a tournament. Sport has a way of bringing people together, something that will be much needed over the next 10 years. Should we consider submitting a bid, IRUPA will certainly lend its support wherever it can”. Much of the focus will be on how Ireland will benefit from tourism and no doubt those in favour of hosting the tournament will point to the revenue generated from the thousands of extra visitors here, if the event got the green-light.


he 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand was possibly one of the best since the competition first started in

1987. The country was hopping, the locals were loving it, foreign visitors were well received, the Irish fans were warmly embraced and the best team (just about) won it.

From an Irish point of view, it was disappointing to have to head home after the quarter-finals. But we learned one thing from our time there. If the Kiwi’s can bloody well do it, so can we. So, as a small island nation with a similar population to New Zealand, but 8 times smaller in land-mass, can we host the third most popular tournament in the World? “It’s absolutely feasible” says leading economist David McWilliams. “If a country like Ukraine can hold a soccer World Cup, there’s no reason that we can’t put a bid together for the Rugby World Cup, and that such a bid wouldn’t be successful” And some of those involved in the game think it’s a runner. Former Irish Rugby coach Eddie O’Sullivan thinks the bid could be successful. “Certainly Ireland could host a Rugby World Cup. In terms of hosting these games, we’re used to hosting huge Heineken Cup and 6 Nations games. The GAA is used to hosting huge games and All-Ireland finals.

The ticketing is the key”. The GAA says it hasn’t been approached about the issue, but the Association’s Director General Paraic Duffy has already hinted that he wouldn’t see any problem with using GAA grounds to host the games. The Irish Sports Minister has said he would love to see Ireland host the Rugby World Cup in 2023. Based on the fact that Ireland is already hosting the Heineken Cup Final in 2013 and that a lot of the infrastructure in place, Leo Varadkar said he would be in favour of exploring the idea. “We’d really love to host it” Minister Varadkar told us. “I’d have to have discussions with the IRFU and there are usually cost implications in these things” “It’s something we have to explore. We have a great stadium in the Aviva, you could argue that the Sportsground (in Galway) needs a bit of work and Thomond (in Limerick) too…but if it’s something the IRFU wants to explore, they’ll have no difficulty dealing with me on it” he continued. And in May, the idea received a major boost with the IRFU confirming that Government officials had approached them about the possibility of making a bid. The Union issued a statement to say “A few months ago the Government approached the IRFU about the possibility of Ireland

There will also be, no doubt, dissenting voices who will point to the fact that the IRB will most likely require a hosting fee of over 100 million euro for the event, and that a country as broke as Ireland shouldn’t be pumping money into stadia refurbishment, when so many other vital services require cash. There’s still plenty of time for a bid to host Rugby World Cup 2023 to be submitted, but already several other nations have floated the idea of hosting the competition, including Russia, USA/Canada and possibly Argentina. As a country (hopefully) on the way out of one of the darkest recessions in our history, we should be aiming to bring one of the best sporting tournaments to these shores. And who knows? We might even win the bloody thing. Eoin McHugh


THE AFTERLIFE Rugby players never want to entertain the thought of retirement. Men who spend their careers focusing on winning, succeeding and getting rewards don’t want to contemplate the thoughts of stopping. Eoin McHugh talks to some high-profile names who’ve called it quits in the last few months...

Apart from being a model professional, David Wallace is seen by players, journalists and fans as a gentleman. But when IRUPA’s Hamish Adams approached him to discuss the prospect of retirement, he wasn’t impressed.

playing. It was a scary time to be honest. It’s alien to you. You spend your career doing everything in your power to do the opposite to retirement” But what’s life like when the final whistle goes for good? What next?

“I actually got narky” laughs the former Jerry Flannery has just finished up the Munster and first phase of a Ireland back“It was hard for me to Masters in Sports row. “I had been come around to the way Performance. The ploughing on as former Irish and if everything was of thinking that I wouldn’t Munster hooker gonna be fine...I called it a day never entertained continue playing. It was a in March after the thought of scary time to be honest” battling a calf hanging up the injury that saw him boots”. David Wallace play his last game during the World But like so many Cup in New Zealand. The injury wouldn’t players before him, Wallace was in his heal despite months of rehab, testing and autumn of his rugby career and was even a trip to Germany to visit an expert. carrying an injury that wasn’t healing, despite his best efforts and those of medical “I had been testing it and it hadn’t been experts. He sustained it in the Rugby World responding well. I remember, just after last Cup warm ups after a tackle from England’s Christmas, the 27th of December I think it Manu Tuilagi. was, I eventually said this is not getting any better”. “I had overcome injuries before and, by and large, had been lucky in the past. I went back Flannery realised the day when he no playing and after the first game it was very would longer play the game he loved was sore...I probably got through 20 minutes fast approaching. He enrolled in a one-year feeling ok, but afterwards I was hobbling taught Masters in Sports Performance in and limping and it was quite obvious it was the University of Limerick. not making any improvement”. It also became quite obvious the Munsterman would have to look at his options. “It was hard for me to come around to the way of thinking that I wouldn’t continue

“It’s one of the best things I ever did” said the 33 year old. “When I broke down in New Zealand, I thought to myself, what else can I do?

JUNE 2012 You never want to entertain the thought of have to make money. Players can get retirement. It’s a tough thing. But I didn’t shortchanged sometimes and they want any pity and I had to face things. gotta protect themselves financially and When you play a sport for so long at such a physically. I think IRUPA are very important level you don’t want in looking after people feeling sorry players and as “Players can get for you” he says. the game keeps shortchanged sometimes progressing it’s For players like important they’re and they gotta protect Flannery and there for us” themselves financially and Wallace, there are precedents – the some players physically. I think IRUPA But guys that went are eager to are very important in before them. stress that when the time comes looking after players” David Wallace to pull the pin, admits he had the it’s not all doom Jerry Flannery comfort blankets of and gloom, his older brothers despite the some Richard and Paul who know a thing or two portrayals in the media and a study last about playing with the oval-shaped ball and year that shows many players found the what to do when the question of retirement retirement process difficult. rears it’s rather unattractive head. “It’s important not to be negative” says “I’m close to my brothers and I talked to former Leinster and Ireland winger Shane Woody (Keith Wood) a bit. They’ve gone Horgan, who called it a day in late Match through it before and they’ve given me after battling a long-standing knee injury. plenty of support” says Wallace. “It (retirement) was And Jerry Flannery out of my hands “It’s another period in taken admits he had to due to injury but I have turn to another life and you just have to no issue there. I have former player for such great memories, advice – his former get on with it - it’s about especially with Munster teamLeinster, but I have how you can make the mate Ian Dowling absolutely no regrets. most of it” who was forced to It’s not ideal to have retire aged just 28 to call it quits but I did Shane Horgan after a hip injury. have a lot of years and I enjoyed those years. “I told Ian there was a grey cloud hanging I’m looking forward to a new challenge” over me. He told me that it’s not as bad as you’d think, and he mentioned his Physio And some of the current crop are already course which he took up, and how he had thinking about “the afterlife” and they ain’t benefitted from it” hangin’ around. Jamie Heaslip has already invested in a restaurant in Dublin city centre But players don’t have to rely just on the that has got him plenty of publicity recently, experiences of former players. In 2008 and other players have made investments IRUPA, along with the IRFU, set up the in the service industry and elsewhere. Players Services Programme to aide those approaching their final days in the game. “Some guys have businesses, or are in The programme looks at everything from education that will allow them go into a education, to advice on tax and insurance career after Rugby” says Horgan. and even skills like presentation and speaking to the media. “I got massive support from lads in IRUPA” Jerry Flannery says. “Hamish (Adams) helped me understand the process when it comes to retirement. It’s only when you really need them that you realise how vital they are” “By their nature players wanna succeed, but it’s a business as well, and people


“And it’s important to remember that Rugby players have constant challenges in their careers, such as getting over injuries or keeping their place in a team... so many are actually better equipped than others to go into business”. “It’s another period in life and you just have to get on with it - it’s about how you can make the most of it” he continues. And finally, perish the thought, but the current crop of youngsters who are representing the four proud provinces and Ireland will have to hang up the boots someday. Fact of life. So what advice would the older statesmen impart on the young pups? “Develop interests outside the game” says Jerry Flannery. “Rugby players sometimes have to be obsessive, selfish fellas – I found it difficult to switch off – but I found that getting involved in business and interests outside of the game really helped” “When I was injured during my career I found I could focus on the pub in Limerick City, and then when you have that, it’s easier to go back to concentrating on the bread and butter of playing rugby” David Wallace is happy where things are right now, just weeks after he quit the game. “When it comes to retirement it’s such an individual thing, but it’s important to remember that Rugby is a thing where you can make great connections. I would say to current players to always keep options open” The final word goes to Shane Horgan. “Retirement is another period in life and you just have to get on with it and it’s about how you can make the most of it”. Eoin McHugh


JUNE 2012

New Thinking in Rugby Injury, Recovery & Peak Performance


ugby is a very physical sport, the injury rate is three times higher than soccer. Dealing with injuries and getting back to peak health is often an ongoing job for rugby players. With this in mind, we spoke to Australian Dr. Tammy VerlaanRoss, a Neurologically based Chiropractor at Life and Balance Centre in Dublin, to find out how they assist rugby players achieve peak performance. Nervous System Life and Balance Centre combine state of the art technology and hands on techniques to assist athletes to achieve optimum health and peak performance. Their centre specialises in Neurologically based Chiropractic, put simply this means they work with the nervous system, the controlling system of the body. Dr Verlaan-Ross states ‘as your nervous system controls every cell in your body, if your nervous system is out of balance your body doesn’t function at its best.’

They also use the latest in neurophysiological equipment, called NeuroInfiniti. Dr Verlaan-Ross explains this is technology that can measure the function of the nervous system. NeuroInfiniti measures brain wave activity, heart rate, muscle tension and four other major neurological responses to stress. NeuroInfiniti is also used for biofeedback and neurofeedback training. This is where people can learn to change these neurological responses, such as learning how to relax their muscles or how to reach a calm, focused mental state. These are important to be able to control if an athlete wants to achieve peak performance. Dr. Tammy Verlaan-Ross states “Research has demonstrated that Chiropractic adjustments change neurological responses. This creates powerful changes in how our bodies function. Basketball’s greatest player, Michael Jordan has a high opinion of chiropractic care, he once said, “I didn’t know how much I could improve until I started seeing a chiropractor. I’ve improved leaps and bounds both mentally and physically”. Matt Williams This technology is already being used by top sports teams, including at soccer giants AC Milan where the team has been able to decrease injuries by two-thirds. Rugby

coach and pundit Matt Williams visited Life and Balance Centre last year and discussed their technology on his TV show, The Breakdown. On the show he mentioned how impressed he was to see this technology in Ireland and his view that the next great advancements in sport will be in how we use our mind while performing. Dr. Verlaan-Ross states “I have worked with numerous athletes across many contact sports and the benefits of having a balanced nervous system are amazing. Players notice decreased injuries, faster recovery, better concentration, improved reactions, greater stamina, increased speed and more energy. As well as peak performance, we work with common rugby injuries including soft tissue injuries, joint immobility, pain and concussion. All of this is so important, as ultimately, it means more game time, better performance and a longer playing career. Whether you play rugby competitively or for fun, we can minimise your injuries and have you playing at your best”. For further information visit:

Life and Balance Centre Do you want to have the physical and mental edge over the opposition this coming season? Life and Balance Centre is a progressive peak performance centre that uses leading edge health science technology and superior knowledge to effectively help athletes achieve their optimum health potential and athletic performance. This will help rugby players in many ways including:

• Injury prevention • Quicker recovery • Faster reactions • Better coordination • Improved foot speed • More energy • Greater stamina • Better concentration/focus • Improved calmness under pressure If you would like to be performing at a higher level this coming season, we at Life and Balance Centre can help. Contact us now to arrange an appointment. Services include: Neurologically based Chiropractic, Brainfit Training, Biofeedback, Neurofeedback, Neuroinfiniti Stress Response Evaluation, Lifestyle Advice and Workshops.

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MSc Sport and Exercise Management: Rugby Management New rugby management offers successful programme for sporting professionals keen to progress skills The UCD MSc Rugby Management programme commenced in September 2011 and is an innovative development that represents a world first in the further education of rugby players and administrators As successive waves of those who have played in the professional game and who have not been able to continue in full time education and careers outside the game reach retirement, it became clear to the University that it would be beneficial to provide such a programme. University College Dublin is perfectly positioned to service such needs. The Rugby Club, which celebrated its Centenary in 2010 - 11, is the leading University club in Ireland. Its Academy, which started fifteen years ago, has produced six members of the current Ireland squad: Rob Kearney, Sean O’Brien, Kevin McLaughlin, Paddy Wallace, Fergus McFadden and Brian O’Driscoll. The former Director of Rugby, John McClean is now the Coordinator of the MSc in Rugby Management programme. The close association of UCD with Leinster Rugby has recently been enhanced with a new arrangement which will see Leinster make UCD its training and administrative base and this link will further augment the validity of the programme. “With Leinster based in UCD the lines of communication between the professional rugby world and the academic world are very strong,” says McClean. The programme consists of four rugby modules spread throughout the year. The first one is strategic and operational planning with rugby professionals such as Conor O’Shea contributing and Leinster Rugby’s Keira Kennedy. Other modules include Long Term Player Development, Sports Law which also includes rugby law and the final one being Preparation for High Performance Rugby. “Once again, we’ve had a

high calibre of experts contributing to the programme like former Ospreys coach Sean Holley, Declan Kidney, Eddie O’ Sullivan and Keith Wood to name a few. Rugby people are very generous with their time and we are fortunate to have a strong relationship with the very best in this area,” commented the programme coordinator. This programme, which is supported by the IRFU, IRB, Leinster Rugby, IRUPA and selected English Premier League clubs, targets current professional players seeking to upgrade existing qualifications, players planning retirement at the end of this season who wish to remain in rugby in a management capacity, and those rugby club management personnel wishing to enhance their management skill-set. In addition, community rugby club management relies upon a vast range of personnel both volunteers and professionals who may wish to take advantage of one or more modules focussed on their specific role within the club. Three recent retirees from the professional game, internationals Bernard Jackman and John Fogarty and Heineken Cup medallist Ronnie McCormack have already graduated from the MSc programme and all endorse the relevance of this programme to their future career paths. It is expected that others will follow this path. The programme may be taken either fulltime (11 months), part-time (22 months) or on an occasional basis (an indefinite period; continual professional development CPD). Whichever method students select involves them undertaking one module at a time which is offered on an intensive one week basis (5 days, 9-4, a 35hr wk). For further information visit or email

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T Carlow is fast developing a reputation as one of the leading 3rd level institutes in sport in the country. Rugby at IT Carlow has seen a turnaround in the last 5 years, since the introduction of their BA Sport & Exercise Rugby course. The course, in association with Leinster Rugby/ IRFU, offers students a chance to train full time while incorporating a degree in Business or Sports Management. The college this year completed a remarkable triple, winning the IRFU/CUSAI Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3 colleges rugby cups. It is the second year in a row that IT Carlow qualified for all 3 finals and completed the first ever clean sweep at this level. Under the supervision of Coach Brett Igoe and Director of Sport, Carmel Lynch the course has contributed hugely to increasing participation in rugby with a newly formed womens team, together with Carlow Rugby Club, winning division 4 of the league and also winning the intervarsities in 2011. Head of Department Declan Doyle commented “Over the past five years we have put huge investment in our sports facilities in the college and now sport is a huge part of the college strategy,” he says, adding, “We recently opened a €9 million extension to our indoor sports facilities and we have purchased 40 acres of land where the next generation of our sports facilities will be based. It is one of the key courses in the college. The students are very united as a group and hugely pro active and popular in the college with both the president and the vice president of the student union coming from the rugby course.” “Having a sports qualification on their CV makes them very attractive to employers because they can immediately see that they are team players, very confident, good presenters and extremely hard workers.” For further info go to:


JUNE 2012


IRUPA INFORMATION & DIRECTORY WEBSITE Updated information on all player benefits and deals as well as Player Services Programme resources are available on the member’s only section of the IRUPA website All relevant details and contact names and numbers are available in this section also. IRUPA CONTACTS 66 Lower Leeson Street Dublin 2 T: +353 1 676 9680 F: +353 1 676 9972

IRUPA EXECUTIVE BOARD Brian O’Driscoll Chairman Gavin Duffy Connacht Shane Jennings Leinster Paul O’Connell Munster Rory Best Ulster NON EXECUTIVE BOARD Ken Belshaw Denis O’Brien Padraig Ó Ceidigh

Omar Hassanein Chief Executive +353 86 044 7955 or OFFICIAL PARTNERS & SUPPLIERS Arachas Insurance, Official Supplier of Pro Protect Insurance Hamish Adams Alan Miller Player Services Advisor E: +353 86 350 2552 or BDO, Official Financial Advisor Sara Jane English Ciaran Medlar Sponsorship & Communications E: +353 86 853 2970 or

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In Touch June 2012  
In Touch June 2012  

IRUPA In Touch magazine June 2012