New skipper Garrett ready to lead Larne

Larne’s new skipper Ryan Garrett believes exciting times lie ahead for all involved with the club’s First XV.

Larne Rugby Club's First XV captain, Ryan Garrett

The Glynn men begin their defence of the Gordon West Cup - the trophy they won at Ravenhill in the spring - with a home tie against Ophir this weekend.

And Garrett, who took over as captain after James McCluggage’s decision to vacate the role, is hoping his men can retain the cup and make a return to Qualifying 2 come the end of the campaign.

“Those are the two targets we have set for ourselves,” said the 25-year-old scrum-half. “There’s a big push from the whole squad with new coaching staff that we really need to hit the two targets and get back to to Qualifying 2.

“We have brought back Stephen McReynolds this year who has been away at CIYMS. His return has given a boost to our pack. We also have a couple of guys back who had been away due to work commitments and university studies. It’s really given the squad a boost.”

And Garrett admits he’s anticipating yet more big things from Jordan Burns and Phil Andrews who seamlessly graduated from the all-conquering Under-19s last year.

“Even at the start of this season, compared to the last, I can see the year they have had with the Firsts has brought them a long way as players. It’s exciting times and we are really looking forward to seeing how they progress this year.”