Schools Sport & Leisure

Hale’s rising rugby star wins international recognition with Ireland

By David Prior at

He may have been born and raised in Hale, but Kieran Dunne is feeling more Irish by the day after being selected for the under-18 Irish clubs team.

A tough tackling defender but incisive attacking runner, Kieran earned selection through his mother’s roots which are firmly based in Kerry in the South West of the Shamrock Isle.

He was spotted through the Irish Exiles system, which scouts top clubs and schools overseas and is delighted to be selected for their national programme.

The St Ambrose College student said: “Exposure to national level coaches as well as working with the Sharks can only improve my game and I’m looking forward to playing hopefully in both the tri-nations and five nations and lining up against England.

Kieran Dunne in his Ireland shirt

Kieran Dunne in his Ireland shirt

“I was born and brought up in Hale but am proud of my Irish heritage and ever since I put on the emerald green shirt I have felt more and more Irish by the day.”

Kieran learned his rugby at Altrincham Kersal, beginning at the age of just six and going through the age ranks, until joining St Ambrose College and then Sale Sharks where he captains the under-18 side.

He added: “Altrincham Kersal is a fantastic family club and I really would like to thank everyone there who gives so much time and care to mini-rugby.”

A talented academic with 10 good GCSEs, he is studying Physical Education, Design Technology and Business Studies in the St Ambrose College Sixth Form.

He is now aiming to win a professional contract, ideally with the Sharks.

St Ambrose College rugby coach Paul Howarth said: “Kieran is a talented player who has been rightfully talent spotted by the eagle eyed Irish.”