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Super prop Buckley returns to Kanturk RFC

THE first time that I saw Tony Buckley play rugby was in a university colours match under lights at Thomond Park between Limerick Institute of Technology and the University of Limerick. You couldn’t miss him as he was towering over everybody else on the field. Former Shannon ‘great’ Eddie Price was the coach of the LIT side at that time and the game plan of giving the ball to the giant frame of the Corkman was paying dividends. It was no surprise when soon after ‘Mushy’ was seen in the senior jersey of Shannon RFC.
This coming season Tony will swap the high profile world of European, international and English Premiership rugby for Ulster Bank AIL division two B. His decision to join his first rugby club, Kanturk RFC, has to be admired and the County Cork newcomers to senior ranks are understandably thrilled.
A succession of injuries have not helped the career of the six foot five inch, 138kg, 33-year-old but there is still a lot of rugby left in the prop. He joined Kanturk when he was around 15 years old, joined Munster after spells with Shannon and Munster and went on to win 25 Ireland caps. The tight head spent the last three campaigns with Sale Sharks.
His six seasons with Munster made him very popular with home fans and he played 88 times in the famous red jersey of the Irish province.
“I have been in talks with clubs from London and Paris and beyond but will instead play for Kanturk rugby club, the club where I started playing around 18 years ago,” he said this week.
“I would just like to thank my family, especially my mother and my wife for all their support throughout my career and the sacrifices they made to ensure I could continue playing until now.
“Also I would like to thank all the coaches and back-room staff who I had the pleasure of working with along the way. In all, I had a really enjoyable career, travelled the world and played for my country, with a lot of success with Kanturk, Newbridge College, Shannon and Munster.”
Tony admits that he has been fortunate to have come through the testing experience of top class rugby ‘relatively intact.’
Kanturk are sure to attract some attention with this big signing and their progress in division 2B, where they will come up against Bruff, Old Crescent and Richmond next season, should be interesting

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