adidas predator astro Jerry Flannery
Player Record Full Biography and Stats A mobile hooker, whose dynamic play in the loose matches his accurate lineout throwing and solid scrummaging, Flannery often repeats in interviews the line, “you might only get one chance to prove yourself and you’ve just got to take it when that happens”, and the talented number 2 has certainly done that during his career to date
The 28 year old is the only son of Limerick publican Ger Flannery who was president of Presentation RFC, a junior club in Limerick that gave the young ‘Fla’ his first experience of rugby
Educated at St. Munchin’s College and University College Cork, he was capped by Ireland Schools and won a European Students Cup medal during his time at UCC. Stints followed at club level with Galwegians and Shannon, with whom he has won a pocketful of AIB League Division One winners medals
At provincial level, Flannery first made his mark with Connacht, the province of his birth. He was with the westerners between 2001 and 2003 before the retirement of Keith Wood saw him sign for Munster
He rose to national prominence during Munster’s Heineken Cup winning season of 2005/06 when he stepped into the shoes of the injured Frankie Sheahan. He made the most of his chance, excelling for the province at European level and gaining international recognition as he helped Ireland to a Triple Crown success. He was included in the BBC’s Team of the Six Nations that year
He has played a total of 53 times for Munster to date, scoring six tries in the process. He signed a contract extension in March of last year which will run until the end of the 2008/09 season
Flannery made his Ireland senior debut as a replacement against Romania in November 2005. A voracious trainer, he even installed a chin up bar in his bedroom when he was a youngster
Flannery crowned his first start and Six Nations debut against Italy in February 2006 with his first try. His first appearance against the All Blacks came in June, but shoulder surgery saw him sidelined for much of last season
Back fully fit, Flannery fought his way back into contention for this year’s Six Nations, playing in all five matches but Ulster’s Rory Best was the man in possession of the number 2 jersey for the entire tournament and the pair will continue to duel it out for the starting berth in the seasons to comeFlannery is a budding film maker and directed, produced and starred in a short Quentin Tarantino esque film set in Limerick last year. His friends and Munster team mates Mossie Lawler, Ian Dowling and Tony Buckley, whose physique easily lent to the role of gang enforcer, all had parts in it.
Well able to give and take in the banter stakes, Flannery’s Munster team mate Anthony Foley famously texted the following message to him after he failed to run a try scoring chance in against Wales at Lansdowne Road last year: “Warning! Quicksand found under the West Stand at Lansdowne Road.”
Flannery’s competitive streak got the better of him last week at the Ireland team hotel in Bordeaux. It involves two players, a soccer ball, a couch as the net and the court delineated with masking tape on the carpet.
“We were at it the whole evening. Geordan Murphy was head and shoulders above everyone else. Jerry was disgusted to lose both his games.
“But it’s not enough just to be here. You want to be performing and getting results. No one wants to be one of the players letting the nation down so that’s why I just want to get out there and have a shot at it on Friday.
“And there’s no point in us even taking the field if we’re going to make the silly mistakes we made in the last two games.”
ON HOW IRELAND CAN IMPROVE ON FRIDAY NIGHT:
“We have to cut out our turnover ball. Our defence and set pieces have to be right. We can build on it from there. We have talented players in the back line and great footballers in the pack as well.
“Lads like Denis Leamy are on a par with anybody in the world but that’s no use if you keep dropping the ball. We have to hold onto possession and build phases.
“We haven’t consciously tried to score off our first phases, it’s just that we’ve made so many silly mistakes. We just haven’t put any continuity together and when you don’t do that, you can’t stretch teams.
“It’s difficult to use lads like Brian O’Driscoll in the back line then. You end up forcing it, and we have got to stop shooting ourselves in the foot from the start.
“It’s about concentration, about who can keep their focus for the 80 minutes. If you look at the World Cup, teams have been shooting themselves in the foot with dropped passes and unforced errors. When you cut them out, it turns your game around.”