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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 17 December, 2018

18 for 18: Multi-talented Jack Canning hoping to follow in the footsteps of his famous uncle Joe

Galway hurling has another exciting Canning rising up through the underage ranks.

Over the next 10 days, our 18 for 18 series will look at 18 Irish athletes aged 18 or younger set for a big 2018. You can read the rest of the series here

Joe Canning and Jack Canning celebrate Source: James Crombie/INPHO

WHEN GALWAY EVENTUALLY anoint an heir to Joe Canning, they won’t have to look too far.

Joe’s nephew Jack Canning has been ripping it up in underage ranks for Galway, most recently leading them to the All-Ireland minor hurling title.

Canning fired 2-2 from play in the minor final win over Cork, landing man-of-the-match and a spot on the minor team of the year as a result.

Tall, powerful and extremely skillful, Canning is an accurate shooter with tremendous potential.

Source: TG4/YouTube

He comes from good stock, and his uncles Joe and Ollie have seven All-Stars between them. In addition, his father Davy, was part of Portumna’s All-Ireland winning teams in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

Canning will likely be part of the Galway senior panel in 2018 as they attempt to ward off interest from other sports. The 18-year-old attended Cistercian College Roscrea and is a talented rugby player, lining out for the school in Leinster senior schools rugby cup this year.

There’s been speculation that Connacht may offer the youngster a professional contract and steal him away from under the noses of the Tribesmen.

Robert Enraght-Moony with Jack Canning Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“I played Cistercian College Roscrea. I played senior cup rugby in Leinster. I don’t know whether I’ll play more or not or stick with the hurling,” Canning said recently.

“It was always there in the back of my mind alright leaving school. I’ll enjoy this year anyway and see how it goes. I’ll have a look. I’ll see. I’m not 100% sure what I’ll pick. I’m sure it’s still in the back of my mind and we’ll see in the future.”

He also recently attended an AFL Europe Talent Combine in UCD, although he wasn’t invited to a subsequent AFL testing academy in Florida.

In the wake of the speculation around Canning’s future, his uncle Joe said:

“It’s whatever he loves. It’s not about going down the road of playing rugby and being a professional. If you love hurling, be a hurler, if he wants to play rugby, then that’s fine as well. He might have a choice to make, but we’ll see in time.”

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

“He’s pushing my buttons now… ‘Come on to f**k Gooch, we’ll do a bit extra’”

The young and the restless: 10 young hurlers who burst onto the scene in 2017

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Kevin O'Brien

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