Boyne’s Martin tipped for big things
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