Boyne’s Martin tipped for big things

Mid Louth Independent - - SPORT - MAR­CUS CAVAROLI

BOYNE Rugby Club have pro­duced some of Ire­land’s finest over the past two decades and now there’s an­other youth player head­ing for the top af­ter Karl Martin took the re­cent Un­der-18 Six Na­tions Festival by storm.

Just 16 years of age, Drogheda na­tive Karl was one of the youngest on the Ire­land Schools panel, and yet he fea­tured in all three games, set up a cru­cial score in the vic­tory over Italy and fin­ished the com­pe­ti­tion against Scot­land by scor­ing his first in­ter­na­tional try.

Karl, who plays at cen­tre, got his first taste of rugby with Boyne at the ten­der age of four and has been mak­ing waves ever since, cul­mi­nat­ing in se­lec­tion for the Ir­ish squad for this month’s Six Na­tions tour­na­ment hosted by Wales.

The panel was packed with play­ers from renowned rugby col­leges, but Karl was rep­re­sent­ing St Mary’s DS, the school at­tended by the great Shane Hor­gan who also started his ca­reer with Boyne en route to be­com­ing one of Ire­land’s most renowned wingers and rep­re­sent­ing the Bri­tish & Ir­ish Lions.

Two of the matches were played at Cardiff Arms Park and Karl ad­mit­ted the ex­pe­ri­ence had whet­ted his ap­petite to go on and achieve even greater things.

‘Singing Ire­land’s Call gave me goose­bumps,’ he said, ‘and to play for my coun­try was nerve-wrack­ing, but I en­joyed it all the same and it was an un­be­liev­able ex­pe­ri­ence to score a try against Scot­land.

‘I was brought up last year to play with Le­in­ster [in the Un­der-18 Club In­ter­provin­cial com­pe­ti­tion] and that was when I re­alised that I could maybe make a ca­reer out of rugby.

‘That’s the plan, to go on and play pro­fes­sional rugby if all goes well. I will keep play­ing for Boyne for now and keep work­ing hard, and hope­fully I can get a Le­in­ster Academy con­tract which would be a dream come true.

‘But I have to have a back-up plan as well, even if I make it.’

That be­ing the case, Karl won’t be ne­glect­ing his stud­ies ahead of his Leav­ing Cert ex­ams, but it’s abun­dantly clear what his in­tended ca­reer path is and he is set­ting the bar un­be­liev­ably high for him­self.

Asked about his ul­ti­mate am­bi­tion, he re­sponded in a flash: ‘To

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