Former Connacht Rugby captain drafted into Mayo GAA squad
Former Connacht rugby captain Gavin Duffy has joined up with the Mayo senior county panel.
The news first came to light on Newstalk’s Off The Ball yesterday evening, and soon after that twitter was awash with the news that Duffy had joined the panel. Former county star David Brady also went on to tell Off The Ball that while training with the team “Someone said to me that he didn’t just fit it, he stood out.”
Duffy has played for his county before, having played at under-age level and reaching the 1999 All-Ireland Minor Football Championship. On that day he was on the losing side, as Mayo lost 1-14 to 0-14 against Down. From that point on though his attention was firmly on rugby. His 173 appearances for Connacht over two spells sandwiching a three year stint with English Premiership outfit Harlequins.
While many feel that his addition to the panel is a positive thing given his exploits with Connacht, some were also critical of including somebody who hasn’t played the game in more than a decade on a competitive level. Given the talent within the Mayo ranks and the need to also blood younger players for the future, there were also those who saw him joining the team as unnecessary at this moment in time.
Still only thirty-two years of age, Gavin is by no means one of the older players in the sport either. Mayo have lost the last two All-Ireland Finals, and if the Ballina man can help his county go a step further, it will be seen as one of the master stroke acquisitions of recent times.
Mayo begin their defence of their Connacht Championship crown on June 8th and will play either Roscommon or Leitrim.