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Former schools sensation McCarthy in training with Foley's Munster

The ex-Castletroy College star has been playing club rugby with Young Munster this season.

FORMER SCHOOLS RUGBY sensation Diarmuid McCarthy has been training with Munster during the Six Nations period.

Diarmuid McCarthy McCarthy trains with Munster at CIT in Cork last week. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

The former Castletroy College star has been called up to train alongside Anthony Foley’s senior squad with numbers down due to international commitments. At least four other club players have also been training with Munster, as is normal at this time of the season.

McCarthy is a particularly interesting case, having largely been off the radar since excelling in the 2008 Munster Schools Senior Cup.

The centre scored two excellent tries in Castletroy’s semi-final win over PBC that year, before delivering a stunning 40-metre solo try in a man-of-the-match performance during the 21-15 victory over CBC in the final.

McCarthy played for the Ireland U18s at a Six Nations Festival in Cork in 2008, and appeared to be destined for the professional game thanks to his remarkable footwork, pace, appreciation for space and power in contact.

However, the Limerick man opted to take a break from playing rugby rather than accept Munster’s offer to enter their academy system after school, before returning with club side Garryowen in 2009.

McCarthy’s involvement in the game has been intermittent ever since, but he joined Young Munster this season and has been impressing in midfield for their seconds team, as well as joining up with the Cookies senior squad.

Diarmuid McCarthy McCarthy in action for the Ireland U18s at the 2008 Six Nations Festival in Cork. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Munster’s interest in the exceptional raw talent of the centre, who has also played on the wing, has never truly faded and his return to playing has piqued their interest again.

Foley’s coaching staff have invited McCarthy into the set-up during the Six Nations, although there is no certainty that any contractual interest will arise from the training stint.

Bringing club and academy players into the senior squad during the spring months is common across the provinces, but the sheer talent and underage playing history of McCarthy means he remains an intriguing prospect.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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