Alex McHenry chips in to add his name to Munster’s cause

Son of former golf pro John becomes 54th player used by Johann van Graan this season

Alex McHenry, the son of former golf pro John,   became the 54th player used by Munster this season when he came on against Benetton in Treviso. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Alex McHenry, the son of former golf pro John, became the 54th player used by Munster this season when he came on against Benetton in Treviso. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

Augusta weekend is probably an appropriate time for a crossover between rugby and golf with Munster coach Johann van Graan hailing the debut of Alex McHenry for the Reds.

McHenry is the son of former professional golfer John McHenry and on Friday night he became the 54th player to be used by Munster this season when they defeated Benetton Rugby 37-28 in Treviso.

The 21-year-old centre, who came up through the ranks at CBC, Cork Con and the Munster academy, came on in the closing minutes of the game as they came from behind to secure victory with an understrength side as they bid for glory on two fronts.

“When I came to Munster I said I was going to start them all at zero and I back the Munster squad and back the Munster youth and it showed,” said Van Graan.

“Alex McHenry winning his first cap and becoming the 54th player that Munster has used this season as a squad [is testimony to that]. They played their hearts out and really glad for them for a fantastic away win and five points.”

Glasgow’s win at the RDS against Leinster means Munster’s hopes of finishing on top in Conference A and going direct to a home semi-final is no longer in their control as they prepare to host Connacht in two weeks.

Van Graan, though, will now turn his attention to next Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup showdown with Saracens with plenty of options to consider after a bruising encounter, where only a knock to forward Fineen Wycherley was a cause for concern after he suffered an upper leg injury.

“It’s brilliant to get pressure from the players to pick a side for a European semi-final but that wasn’t in my thoughts. We start again as usual on Monday morning,” he added.

Meanwhile, Van Graan paid tribute to 29-year-old winger Ronan O’Mahony who was forced to retire this week following a broken leg and dislocated ankle he picked up away to Treviso two years ago this month.

Since then the Limerick native played just one game last season and three this term before calling a halt to his career after 70 appearances and 21 tries for Munster.

“Ronan O’Mahony is a class individual on and off the field,” said Van Graan. “He fought his way back through a lot of injuries, came back into the Munster academy at a very young age and basically his whole rugby career was at Munster.

“An incredible team guy, hard worker and personifies Munster rugby. We are very sorry to lose ‘Manky’ but he will be in until the end of the season and help us with bits and pieces. When a player retires it’s always sad but we have fantastic memories of him and wish him well.”

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