JOE CANNING SAYS his nephew Jack is enjoying life as a rugby player in Australia.

The rising Galway star, who produced a man of the match display in the 2017 All-Ireland MHC final, revealed last November that he would be linking up with the Northern Suburbs Rugby Club in Sydney at the start of this year.

Canning has plenty of experience with playing the oval ball sport. He attended the Cistercian College in Roscrea, and excelled as a flanker while lining out in the Leinster Schools Senior Cup (LSSC). He also played rugby in Ballinasloe.

Given that his uncles Joe and Ollie are regarded as among Galway’s greatest-ever players, Jack Canning has never been far from the spotlight while coming up through the hurling grades.

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The 2017 Hurler of the Year Joe said last year that his nephew “needs to be his own person” and he’s happy to report that the 19-year-old is thriving as an individual in Australia.

“He’s good. He’s enjoying himself out there,” says Canning.

He’s playing a bit of rugby and drinking a few pints. He’s getting a tan as well. I gave him a text there the other day. He’s getting cold, it’s only 30 degrees at the moment. He’s acclimatised well.

“He’s playing a bit of rugby out there and a bit of hurling so he’s enjoying it.”

Canning added that the multi-talented youngster is expected to return home at the end of the year, but he hasn’t firmed up his plans just yet.

Jack Canning in action for Galway in the Bord Gais Energy Leinster GAA Under 21 Hurling Championship last year.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“He could change his mind next week. We just let him off and let him enjoy himself and experience life out there. He’s a good lad.”

Galway’s ace forward Canning is likely to miss all of his county’s Leinster round-robin ties due to a serious groin injury, which required surgery.

The Tribesmen have contested the last two All-Ireland finals, with their victory in the 2017 decider ending a 29-year wait to lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup.

Micheál Donoghue’s side are also back-to-back Leinster champions and would be considered favourites to retain the title again in 2019.

But Canning argues that it would be “stupid-talk” to discuss Galway’s place in the latter stages of the All-Ireland championship, as they prepare to face a Carlow side who earned a draw against Galway in the Allianz hurling league earlier this year.

“They [Carlow] would have got great confidence from that. It’s going to be a huge challenge from that. They’d a great league. 

“How do we know if we’re going to get out of Leinster? I’m not even thinking about that. Carlow is the first game and we have to take it step-by-step.

It’s stupid talk, and I don’t mean any disrespect, to be thinking of the business end of the Championship when we have to win matches before that. That’s not a thing that we do.” 

Bord Gáis Energy have unveiled plans that will allow its Rewards Club customers to take advantage of even more Unmissable Rewards throughout the championship season.

Long term #HurlingToTheCore ambassador Joe Canning was in Dublin for the announcement.

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