On the Ball: Opportunity knocks for budding rugby players - Colm Kinsella

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent



Off the Ball: Opportunity knocks for budding rugby players

Dave Johnston in action for Munster A against Ealing Trailfinders in the British and Irish Cup last season. Johnston joins Ealing next season

PLAYING opportunities for talented young rugby players looking to make a living from the game they love have never been so great. 

They might not always end up playing first team rugby at the first club of their choice straight away, but a bit of perseverance and determination very often pays off.

Take highly rated West Limerick prop Ben Betts for instance.

Betts was in the Munster sub-academy in the 2015/2016 season but the former Ireland U-20 international wasn't offered a place in the academy the following season.

The decision opened the door for English giants Leicester Tigers to make the tighthead prop an offer.

Betts made his senior debut for Leicester in their Anglo-Welsh Cup fixture against Northampton Saints in January 2017.

The West Limerick man continued his rugby development when spending a month with the University of Sydney in May 2017 before returning to Tigers in time for pre-season training last summer.

This month it has been announced that Betts will join English Championship highflyers Ealing next season. Betts will team up with Munster pair scrum-half Ryan Foley and centre/full-back Dave Johnston at Ealing. Exciting times ahead.