BY KIERAN McCARTHY
NEW Munster women's head coach Laura Guest will leave no stone unturned in her efforts to guide the province to interprovincial glory next season.
The Templebryan, Clonakilty woman was named as the new coach of Munster women's rugby on Tuesday, and it was a job offer that she couldn't say no to.
âIt was a massive honour to be asked and it would have been very difficult to turn down. I didn't have to think too long about it and I'm absolutely delighted to have accepted it,' Guest told The Southern Star.
A former Irish international who played in three World Cups and was part of the Irish Grand Slam-winning team of 2013, Guest has coached at Highfield for three years, the first as player/coach in 2012/13, and has been involved in schools' coaching with Midleton College these past five seasons.
Taking the Munster job represents another step up the ladder for the West Cork woman.
âIt's the next step up certainly,' she said.
âOpportunities like this are few and far between so I felt it was now or never.
âI am grateful to be given the opportunity to do it.
âI can't wait to start and do everything I can to bring the inter-pros title back to Munster again â that's the aim.
âMunster were going for three in a row last season but were beaten by Leinster in Donnybrook in the last game. In a way, it's a good time to come in too because any team that was beaten the previous year will be hungry to go better the next season. And we want to win the inter-pros title in December when the competition will be played.'
Adding another West Cork layer to the Munster women's management team is David Lombard, former player and manager of Clonakilty RFC. He was involved with the team last season under Wayne Falvey, and Guest is thrilled Lombard will stay on in the same role.
âDave was the backs coach with Munster last season. When I was offered the job, I asked if they could see if Dave would stay on. I'm delighted he is, I know Dave's reputation as well as know Dave the person and I am really looking forward to working with him,' Guest said.
âThe fact that he worked there all last season, he will have learned a lot about the women's game, he can only get better with another year and he's a big asset.'
Guest is also a former Celtic Ross West Cork Sports Star of the Year overall winner (2013).
Meanwhile, Bandon RFC will host the Spanish international ladies team later this month ahead of the Rugby Women's World Cup that is being held in Ireland. On Saturday, July 29th, both Spain and Ireland will train in Bandon RFC at 3pm and all are welcomed to come and watch.