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Dublin: 15 °C Wednesday 17 July, 2019

Two Leinster rugby staff members set to play in the All-Ireland club finals on St Patrick's Day

David Breen and Daniel Davey are set for Croke Park.

THEIR DAY JOB involves working with Leinster rugby but their sporting focus is firmly on the AIB All-Ireland club finals on 17 March in Croke Park.

Ballyboden St-Enda’s footballer Daniel Davey is a nutritionist with Leinster while Na Piarsaigh hurler David Breen works as a physio with the province.

DaveyBreen Daniel Davey (Ballyboden) and David Breen (Na Piarsaigh) both work with Leinster rugby.

The pair have both helped their clubs reach the St Patrick’s Day showpiece for a historic first time.

And now uniquely there will be two members of the Leinster rugby staff involved on the biggest day in the club GAA calendar.

“I was just hoping he (Davey) would win his semi-final, to be honest, because our game was played before his,” revealed Breen.

“I didn’t want to go in there, looking forward to Paddy’s Day and being afraid to mention it. Lucky enough they came through.

Daniel Davey Leinster rugby nutritionist Daniel Davey Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“He’s a great lad, I got some advice from him nutrition wise and he takes some advice from me, physio-wise. It works well.”

The pair’s involvement has prompted heightened interest amongst Leinster players in the club GAA scene.

“We have a bit of a following going there, especially in the academy. We have a good few of the boys shouting for Na Piarsaigh now.

“They have made it very clear they are not shouting for Limerick, they are shouting for Na Piarsaigh.

“It is great, especially for lads, some of them wouldn’t necessarily have an interest in GAA, they are tuning in and watching the matches, so hopefully we will have a few of them there on Paddy’s Day.”

On the pitch, there is relief for Breen at being fit to play. A stress fracture in his shin and a broken hand that requiring wiring to repair, meant 2015 will be remembered for a streak of ruinous injuries.

He freely admits that he rushed his rehabilitation in order to feature for Na Piarsaigh in their battles in Limerick and Munster.

AIB GAA Senior Club Championship Finals #TheToughest Media Day David Breen is getting set for Na Piarsaigh's AIB All-Ireland senior club hurling final Source: Ramsey Cardy/SPORTSFILE

I would have had the docs and physios in Leinster keep an eye on things especially with the stress fracture.

“It’s difficult when you work in that environment, you’re advising players to do one thing and then you’re going out doing the exact opposite thing yourself.

“But obviously GAA and professional sport is two different things. You wouldn’t be allowed do that if you had a contract.

You either play it or you don’t. If you don’t it could be the end of your season so I said I’d play it.

“I got a bit of a doing coming in after the Munster final, when they saw me coming on for the final 15 minutes of the game where I had been wearing a cast earlier on that week.

Shane Dowling and Na Piarsaigh players celebrate Na Piarsaigh players celebrate last November's Munster club final win Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“I think the players are pretty understanding as to what’s at stake.

“That would have been one of the best reasons that I stepped away from Limerick this year, because I have to show a commitment to my job too and hurling is definitely not going to pay the bills.”

David Breen and Mark Schutte David Breen in action for Limerick against Dublin last July Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Breen has been juggling preparations for the All-Ireland showdown with Antrim’s Cushendall and his work commitments that involve travel for Leinster’s Pro12 showdowns.

“I travel with the (Leinster) senior teams so we were in Cardiff a few weeks ago, and look they are two day events.

Cian Healy Leinster's Cian Healy in action against Cardiff recently in the Pro12 Source: Craig Thomas/INPHO

“Usually the ones where they are on a Friday night is a bit easier because the team travels on the Thursday and you get back maybe 10 or 11 o’clock Friday night.

“So then you still have some of the weekend left and all I do is let Shane O’Neill, our (Na Piarsaigh) manager, know my schedule in advance and he tries to put training on around that.

“There’s some weekends that there’s no getting away from it, you have to write off the weekend because of work.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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