University of York student Sean Carmody says it was a “great honour” to represent his country, after he earned a call-up to the Ireland Rugby League side.
The 21-year-old, who is studying Medicine at the Hull York Medical School, made his international debut last month, coming off the bench in Ireland’s recent loss to Scotland and played again a week later in a friendly defeat against Wales.
However, Carmody is hoping to force his way into the starting line-up against France this Saturday in his home province of Munster.
He said, “It was a great honour, although we haven’t got a win yet, and I’m hoping to start against France. If I can get into the squad for that match it would be unbelievable and one of the best achievements of my life.
“I grew up near Limerick and went to primary school in Limerick and always grew up being a Munster fan so to get there would be a huge achievement.”
The half-back is the only player to have appeared in all international games involving Ireland this season, having played in Philadelphia against the USA Tomahawks in March, before returning to represent Ireland Students in the Students Four Nations tournament in Glasgow.
He also took part in all three of Ireland A’s games in the Amateur Four Nations. He believes that his performances in those games are what caught new Ireland coach Mark Aston’s eye when selecting his squad.
“I managed to play well out in America and OK in the Four Nations so the natural progression was to get a senior cap but whether I had the ability to make that step up – because it is a huge step up – was always going to come into question, but thankfully Mark Aston has given me that opportunity and I really appreciate that.”
And having impressed at all levels of the domestic and international game, Carmody now has his sights set on playing in the 2013 World Cup. “Competing with professionals has been a learning experience for me. We’re building towards the 2013 World Cup – playing there is the ultimate aim.
“I’ve got a long way to go yet and I’ve got a lot to work on.” Carmody started his career with Limericks Treaty City Titans, and signed for the York City Knights after moving to York two years ago.
Though he is full of praise for the Knights’ players and coaching staff, Carmody has also paid tribute to York University rugby club for allowing him to train with them and play when possible, saying, “They’re an excellent club and a great bunch of lads and I think their insistence on inclusivity has a lot to do with their success.”
Carmody is not the only rugby international around the University of York rugby set up.
Charlie Simpson-Daniel, brother of England international James Simpson-Daniel, joined the University this year but has reportedley opted not to play for James Faktor’s firsts side.
He has been capped by the England sevens side, along with another member of the Hull York Medical School Uche Oduoza who turned out on a couple of occasions last year but similarly struggles with the time restraints of his degree.
Odouza played for Leeds Tykes last year after recovering from a major knee reconstruction and trained with them regularly.