Towards a century at the heart of Connacht rugby

Author: Jamie Curley

Meet Our Squad: Garyn Daniel

Ahead of this upcoming season for Galwegians, the roster has been bolstered with a series of talented individuals ready to give it their all in 2023. 

Our latest recruit comes all the way from Wales with prop Garyn Daniel ready to make an impact here in Galway. With a wealth of experience in the Welsh Premiership, we talked about his career to date and how he’s looking forward to life here in Ireland. 

Garyn’s career began in the small town of Treorchy, located county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf, around 40km away from the capital of Cardiff. It was here where he began playing sport as a youngster but transitioned from football to playing rugby union, making use of his stature:

“I started playing football as a big center-back when I was eleven and my dad said, ‘You’re too big for football, you should play a bit of rugby’”. 

From there onwards, Garyn began playing for underage level for Treorchy RFC, nicknamed the Zebras, boasting a few players who have gone on to play for their country at international level and even hosted Fiji during a tour of Wales in the 90s. Garyn progressed through the ranks of Treorchy, making it all the way to the senior team and securing a move to Premiership side Pontypridd RFC, making 20 appearances for the side. 

Arriving in Galwegians recently, he’s eager to bring his expertise to the Blues with a great deal of flexibility to his style of play, having the opportunity to play in a variety of positions during his career: 

“While I am a prop, I would like to think I’m fairly mobile. Back when I was about 24, I transitioned from number eight to the front row, because we didn’t have enough front rows on the team”.

Garyn talks about the importance of mentality and having a positive outlook on the game, as he looks to demonstrate his abilities throughout the field on the offensive and maintaining composure in the set pieces:

“Definitely mindset is important, thinking quite positively and making sure we are all heading in the right direction. Hopefully, I can be of help in the set-pieces as a prop, and my carrying and tackling”.  Be sure to keep an eye out for Garyn at the forefront of the scrummage!

When you look at the character of Garyn, he attributes this to his family and labels them as his inspiration growing up. Not only did they introduce him into the world of rugby, but he explained how they were the primary influence on how he was brought up. 

“It might be a bit cliché but it would be my family, I was raised by my parents and my grandparents, who I spent a lot of my time with growing up. They are a big aspect of why I do what I do and if I were ever in a dark place, I would stick with my family”. 

Even though home is far apart, there seems not to be too much of a difference between Wales and Ireland in some aspects, particularly the climate, for better or for worse! But the frenetic lifestyle of Galway has caught Garyn’s attention and the busy nature of the city definitely doesn’t compare to the valleys back home. 

“Everybody seems super super relaxed, they seem to be very laid-back and relaxed. I’ve now found myself caught in what I’ve figured out to be the very famous Galway traffic a couple of times which surprised me a little! But I’m very lucky everything I need is very close together so it’s not the end of the world”. 

But the primary focus for this year and for this campaign is to secure promotion and Garyn is looking to do whatever is possible to bring Galwegians success in the AIL Division 2C league and back to where they belong in the upper echelon of club rugby:

“I always had aspirations to work towards promotion for the club, I’m aware that there has been a few relegations over the last couple of years, but the club sees itself higher than what it is right now. I want to make a big enough impact to make sure we achieve promotion this year, anything else would be a failure in my eyes”. 

With our game of the AIL Division 2C season coming on the 6th of October, we wish Garyn the very best for this year and be sure to make him welcome here in Galway.

Womens AIL Preview

Galwegians’ Blue Belles are almost ready to begin their 23/24 season with a showdown against Ballincollig at home in Crowley Park this Saturday at 17:00. The women are looking to continue their success from last year, progressing to two finals including victory in the AIL Women’s Plate Cup against Blackrock College back in April. 

We reached out to the coaching staff for this season, David Clarke and Nicole Fowley, and talked about the upcoming season and the preparation undertaken ahead of their match on Saturday.  With a mix of fresh faces keen to showcase their abilities and experienced veterans demonstrating the experience they have to offer, they are ready for the challenges that lay ahead this season.

“A new season, a lot of new faces and some old faces hopefully reappearing in the next weeks. The girls have put in a lot of conditioning work over the summer and are ready to hit the ground running this Saturday”.

Preparation for the season ahead is a key priority as the game of rugby continues to evolve year on year focusing on growing stronger as a unit. The coaching staff have used the pre-season to remodel their style of play and put themselves in a prime position to be contenders this year. 

“We have adapted our style of play to meet our strengths. We have a lot of technical areas in our play and so our focus is going to be on consistency and execution”. 

Galwegians have been very fortunate to have many players come up through the ranks who have gone to play in interprovincial rugby for Connacht and represent their country. This leaves another challenge for the team with the dilemma of player selection but David and Nicole understand their responsibilities to make sure they have a wealth of players for selection.

“It is going to be a demanding season for our players with representation going to Ireland camps and Interprovincial. It is our duty as coaches to ensure our systems are aligned across Galwegians women’s rugby so the next player can easily step up when required”.

Silverware won’t be the only ambition in sight for Galwegians’ women this season, with one eye toward the future and ensuring that the players have the groundwork they need to achieve their maximum performance.

“The goal for this season is to focus on long-term recruitment, develop our existing players, and give them the structures they need to play at the highest of levels”. 
Reminder that the first match of the season is at home in Crowley Park on Saturday 16th September so be sure to come down to cheer on our Blue Belles!

© 2023 Galwegians RFC

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑