Kirkham Grammar School old boy pitted against all-conquering England

Former Kirkham Grammar School student Kieran Marmion could play a key role in helping to derail England rugby's Grand Slam hopes in Dublin on Saturday.

Friday, 17th March 2017, 6:58 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:20 am
Marmion - in his Kirkham Grammar School days

The 25-year-old combative half-back has been called up into the Ireland side to take on an England team, who have already won the Six Nations title with a 100 per cent record.

Mormion takes the place of the injured Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray

British and Irish Lions ace Murray has failed to recover from the "stinger" shoulder injury suffered in last week's 22-9 loss in Wales, so Marmion starts in the number nine shirt on a day when England bid for a world record 19th consecutive victory.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said: "It's a fantastic opportunity for Kieran Marmion.

Connacht scrum-half Marmion has 12 caps but just one start - against Canada in the autumn.

Marmion came on as a replacement against Wales in Cardiff and impressed with his endeavour and commitment.

It was a performance that came as no surprise to the man in charge of rugby at the school Aled Trenhaile for that kind of spirited performance was much in evidence in his Kirkham days.

Trenhaile said: "Kieran was an outstanding player in the sixth form and even then he showed a terrific work ethic and he was very tough.

"He played in a very strong Kirkham Grammar School side that got the final of the national sevens at Rosslyn Park."

It was little surprise that he became a successful rugby player as his late father Mick played at centre three-quarter for Saracens.

He was born and raised in Brecon, which made him eligible for Wales, but he chose to represent Ireland, the country of his parents' birth.

He attended Kirkham as a border before going to the University Of Wales in Cardiff, linking up later with Connacht after making it to the Ireland under-20 team.

Full honours were to follow with Ireland

Mormion was a good cricketer at Kirkham and no mean boxer either.

Trenhaile said: "Kieran was a very good all-round sportsman and it is good to see him doing so well."

There are ex-Kirkham players aplenty making their mark sometimes even coming into direct opposition.

When Saracens have played Connaught, it has seen Marmion pitted against yet another KGS scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth, an England cap.

Trenhaile said: "They were at Kirkham at different times, but it has been interesting when they have come up against each other.

"It's not for me to say who came out the better!"