The Dooradoyle outfit are shorn of some big names in last season’s captain Josh Hrstich who secured a contract in Hong Kong while Shane Buckley and Jordan Coghlan have pursued their careers across the channel in Nottingham.
Having said that, the addition of Denis Leamy to the coaching team is a phenomenal coup for Garryowen and Conan Doyle is sure the two-time Heineken Cup winner will “get the most out of the players”.
The panel is brimming with youth as Sam Arnold, Alex Wootton, Steve McMahon, Ireland U20 lock Sean O’Connor and theJohnston brothers, David and Bill, are among a team that has every reason to believe they can again make the play-offs.
How will this season unfold for the three-time league champions? Conan Doyle offers his thoughts.
Conan Doyle, Denis Leamy, Seamie McDermott, John Mark Griffin.
Lansdowne (H) Old Belvedere (A) Cork Constitution (H) Clontarf (A)
Niall Horan (Shannon), Sean O’Connor (Cashel), Sam Arnold (Ballynahinch), Ger Horan (Bective Rangers); Barra O’Byrne (UCC)
Ben Rowley (Canada), Barry McNamara (Richmond), Liam Cronin (Dublin University) Aaron McCloskey (Young Munster), Shane Buckley (Nottingham) Jordan Coghlan (Nottingham) Dave Sherry (Old Belvedere) Josh Hrstich (Hong Kong)
“You’re making sure that by the end, you’re still in Division 1A but if we’re looking for an improvement then we want to finish in the top four. If we do that then we’re putting ourselves in the position to win the competition altogether, that has to be the goal every year.
"It’s going to be a challenge getting lads up to speed so it’s about trying to gel them together. We’re happy for the lads to move on; three of them have secured contracts.