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5 Players Who've Transitioned From Hurling To Rugby

5 Players Who've Transitioned From Hurling To Rugby
By Balls Team
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Whenever an Irish rugby player catches a ball over his head, the populace are keen to credit Michael Cusack and Archbishop Croke and their comrades who codified the sport of Gaelic football.

Hurling, a more unique game, is less celebrated in so far as providing players to the Irish rugby team is concerned. But there has been some who've made the crossover.

John Muldoon

From Portumna. Like many before him, he only took up the oval ball game to keep fit in the winter. He won an All-Ireland minor title with Galway in 2000, on a team containing clubmate Damien Hayes, Ger Farragher, Richie Murray, Tony Óg Regan, Shane Kavanagh and future Dublin corner back Niall Corcoran.

Thank GAA It's Friday have a segment of him pucking balls about with his old mucca Hayes.


Tomás O'Leary

His Dad was the southern Jimmy Keaveney of hurling, winning four All-Irelands in the late 70s and 1984. Captained Cork to the All-Ireland minor title in 2001.

Concentrated on rugby from the early 2000s on. Unseated Peter Stringer at Munster during the Heineken Cup run of 2007-08.


Eddie O'Sullivan favoured Eoin Reddan after Stringer's career wobble in the 2007 World Cup relegated him to the subs bench.


Once Kidney became Ireland coach, O'Leary was first-choice for a couple of years, winning the Grand Slam in 2009. However, by 2011, he had fallen decisively out of favour. Plays for London Irish currently.


Darren Sweetnam

His exile from Cork hurling is another source of unhappiness to the county. Currently 23, he was awarded a development contract with Munster last year. He attended Bandon Grammar school and played underage hockey for Ireland.

Making his way as a winger/full back at the moment.

Keith Wood

Wood played U16 hurling for Clare on the same team as Jamsie O'Connor and hasn't let anyone forget it since. We're talking late 80s period when Clare hurling wasn't the fashionable scene it is now.


Simon Zebo

Played for Blackrock at underage. Unlike many on here, rugby was his primary game to begin with. Spoke about his love of hurling on Thank GAA It's Friday a couple of years back. Made reference to Cork going well. Dated reference.

Zeebs played alongside the likes of Pat Horgan growing up.



Read more: Double Aspirations - Who Will Be The Next County To Emulate Cork And Win The Double?

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