Friday, February 03, 2023

WHEN most players are either hanging up their boots or having retired some years previously, 43 year old Joe Waters was in the starting line-up for Tullow during their Leinster League win over Athy. It would be interesting to see what the stats would have been for the amount of ball he carried in the opening twenty minutes.

He relished the responsibility.

“Of course, I enjoyed that. I enjoy every rugby game,” he admitted while conceding his days of playing for eighty minutes are long gone.

Tullow’s Joe Waters is tackled by Athy’s Shane Horgan during last weekend’s win
Photo: Thomas Nolan Photography.

“I know that but I will take what I get. 50 minutes plus. I was on the ball a lot but at my age you will take anything that you get. I am still loving it as much as ever and training as much as ever,” said the Kilbride footballer and former Naomh Eoin senior hurler. He won senior hurling medals in 2003 and 2005 with the Myshall club. Yet he loves his rugby.

“This is a powerful club. The lads in it, the coaching staff and our manager, Maurice Logue, keeps us all together and does a good job doing it. The backroom team. It is a brotherhood.

It is different to GAA but not in a wrong way. You have to adjust.”

Tullow may have been without a number of regulars including Jack McDonald, Steve Smith and Scott Caldbeck but Waters says the team was not weakened by their absence.

“We are training hard and it showed the depth we have on the line. Lads on the line are every bit as good as the lads who are on the field. You are not weakening the side when you have to make changes. Any Friday night you are hoping you are on the starting team and that is why you train.”

By Kieran Murphy

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