Former England and Lions prop Graham Rowntree declares allegiance to Tipperary

The Munster forwards coach has been seriously impressed with hurling and football since he moved to Ireland a year ago.
Former England and Lions prop Graham Rowntree declares allegiance to Tipperary

Munster forwards coach Graham Rowntree is living in Ballina. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

The exploits of David Power’s Tipperary footballers have found favour with one of the Lions’ most experienced coaches with Graham Rowntree confirming he has become a fan of the Blue and Gold.

The Munster forwards coach, who has coached on three Lions tours and also with England and Georgia in the World Cup, said he has been seriously impressed with hurling and football since he moved to Ireland a year ago.

And while he is based at Munster’s High Performance Centre (HPC) at University of Limerick, he has set up home in Ballina and declared allegiance to Tipperary!

Asked at today’s weekly press briefing at the HPC if he was getting a green and white flag out in support of John Kiely’s hurlers against Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final on Sunday, the former Leicester and England prop declared his hand.

"I'm a Tipp man! I have not been to one live yet, but the skill level and the speed of both GAA (Gaelic football) and hurling impresses me.

I am looking to go to one live.

Rowntree knows he might have to wait some time before he can get to a GAA match but he said they just pleased to be training and playing and that they feel privileged that they still can.

“We are just pleased to be playing. You have other people working from home, not able to leave or lead their normal lives. We are living quite normal lives in terms of coming to work every day, coaching and training, and guys are playing every week. We have got used to it now.

“The crowds will be brilliant when they come back but we just consider ourselves fortunate to be still playing and working every day. The guys have learned to create their own noise, their own environment,” he added.

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