CIAN Hurley is hoping his impressive debut for Munster will lead to more first-team opportunities.
Having come through Clonakilty RFC, Hurley (20) is the latest player from West Cork to feature for Munster and he’s following in some very big footsteps.
In recent seasons, Gavin Coombes, Fineen Wycherley, Liam Coombes and John Hodnett made their Munster debuts, while this season Josh Wycherley and Jack Crowley both made their first appearances for the senior side, and now Hurley’s name can be added to the list.
He started in the second row in a youthful pack and played the full 80 minutes as Munster beat Benetton 31-17 at Thomond Park recently to make it six wins in a row.
Hurley also became the 53rd player to line out for Munster this season.
‘I’m absolutely thrilled, I’m over the moon, it’s what everyone dreams about and I’m delighted to get the full 80 (minutes),’ Hurley said.
‘Ruck time was very physical, I thought when I got into a couple of carries and into the game I thought I did alright and got into it that way.
‘I have been overwhelmed by the support and the messages from everyone back home in Clonakilty, and everyone in the club who has helped me the whole way up, especially my family who have sacrificed a huge amount for me to be here.’
Hurley was born in South Africa and spent his early years in Johannesburg where his parents, Eoin and Catherine, moved to work before they returned to West Cork. Cian was 13 when he moved to West Cork and having played rugby since he was eight in South Africa, he joined Clonakilty RFC and hit the ground running.
It didn’t take long for Hurley to get noticed and as well as play with Christian Brothers in Cork – where he won a Munster Schools Senior Cup in 2019 – he was also on the Munster U18 Clubs’ squad, played and captained the Munster U18 Schools’ team, lined out for the Irish U18 Schools’ team and was involved with the Ireland U20 squad last year. Hurley has also captained the Munster Development team, lined out with the Munster As, and plays his club rugby with Garryowen. Now he can add a Munster senior debut to his rugby CV – and he’ll be back for more.