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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 16 September, 2019
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Irish rugby star lines up for Christchurch with All Blacks legend Richie McCaw

Diarmuid McMahon is plying his rugby trade in New Zealand and has played alongside some of the country’s top talents.

Richie McCaw with Diarmuid McMahon in the Christchurch dressing room.
Richie McCaw with Diarmuid McMahon in the Christchurch dressing room.
Image: - Christchurch FC

DIARMUID MCMAHON HAS experienced many thrilling moments on the rugby pitch since he first arrived in New Zealand, almost four years ago. The Clare native has played alongside Hosea and Rico Gear and experienced life in a region passionate, bordering obsessed, with rugby.

However all that was surpassed by lining out alongside All Blacks captain Richie McCaw for Christchurch at the weekend.

McCaw played with McMahon in the first outing of his comeback after a six-month sabbatical from the sport. The World Cup-winning captain, and multiple world player of the year, starred in a 22-5 victory over University at Christchurch Park. Also involved was Brook Retallick, brother of talented lock Brodie who made his New Zealand debut against Ireland last year.

McMahon is a former player with St Senan’s in Clare and has also appeared as fullback and winger for Ulster Bank League side Garryowen. Robbie Hoban, PRO of St Senan’s, alerted TheScore.ie to McMahon’s hit-out with his legendary teammate after the 24-year-old emailed on pictures from the victorious Christchurch dressing room.

He said, “Diarmuid has been down in New Zealand for about four years but played for us last year when he was back for a few months. He is coming back around Christmas and wants to get involved with coaching some of our youth teams.

He was a talented underage hurler as well and played for Wolfe Tones in Shannon. He was said to be the best underage player they had at the time, better than [former Clare hurlers] Brian and Frank Lohan. They weren’t happy when he decided to concentrate on rugby.”

Hoban posted the picture [above] on the St Senan’s rugby website of McMahon and McCaw with the CTV Shield they won at the weekend. He accompanied it with the Munster Rugby motto, ” To the brave and the faithfull nothing is impossible.”

Speaking about McCaw’s gradual comeback to Super Rugby and international standard, Christchurch co-coach Daniel O’Brien said, “He’s there to play as long as we need him. Obviously it’s a good hit-out for him. It will be his call to see how he’s going. There are no restrictions at this stage.”

The former Munster U20 fullback will be hoping to accompany the All Blacks legend onto the field of battle again.

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Patrick McCarry

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