Eddie Costelloe     

 Date of Birth: 02/03/1958

 Place: Limerick, Ireland.

 I had the standard Limerick childhood that involved being thrown a rugby ball and, simultaneously, a family club allegiance. In my case and for my parish, that allegiance was to Richmond RFC, a celebrated junior club for whom I happily played centre on their underage teams. At St Muchin’s College, the Diocesan secondary school and a famous rugby hotbed in a rugby obsessed locality I was moved to the outhalf position. That recognition of my incipient playmaking abilities notwithstanding, I didn’t make the college’s Junior Cup team. I was disappointed but I accepted it – I had to.  At almost exactly the same time, I began playing with Young Munster, a senior club with whom Richmond would traditionally have enjoyed a close relationship. My coach there, Tony Grant, asked me to consider moving again, this time to scum half, the Number Nine, the fulcrum, the linch-pin, the transition from forward power to backs’ speed and line of running. I made the move and found myself in my sporting mental home. That position – Number Nine, scrumhalf – has obsessed me since and its core function of transferring power to speed and grace has become a personal  metaphor for everything I’ve tried to do in my sporting and professional career.

 Having arrived in my perfect position, I flourished.  I represented Limerick and Munster at Under-20s level and was called to train with the Ireland Under-20s. I was capped for Munster at junior and senior levels and the Young Munster’s team on which I had the honour to play bridged a 42 year-gap to win the prestigious Munster senior Cup in 1980, repeating the feat in 1984.

 My work moved me to Dublin the same year and I joined Lansdowne FC and was picked for Leinster, the provincial team into which all the Dublin clubs fed and for which some of Ireland’s greatest players have lined out.  I therefore belong – somewhat uneasily – to the select group that have played for both parties to Irish rugby’s two most intense rivalry: Munster and Leinster.  I was selected for the Wolfhounds exhibition team and prior to leaving to work in Australia I returned to Limerick and ‘kept my hand in’ by playing with Garryowen FC.

 I brought my love of the game with me and immediately joined Eastern Suburbs and as I wound my way around Australia I played with Brothers’ Club in Brisbane, coached at Eastern Suburbs, Drommoyne RFC and Hunter’s Hill RFC. Wherever I went I joined a club and played to the highest level I could – and thanks to my Limerick ‘grounding in the basics’ - the highest level I could play at was, generally, quite high indeed. I loved the Australian attitude to sports:  I particularly embraced the idea that participating without effort is relatively pointless. The Aussies, it seemed to me, understood that you owe it to yourself and your team to try and compete to the best of your ability. We here might think we espouse that attitude to the same degree; I’m under no such delusion: Australian teams of whatever level will compete at the highest level that the sum of their parts allows. That is what permits them to overachieve and excel in almost every field of sports and athletics in which they compete. And integral to that philosophy is their relentless drive to technical command of the game.

 The cliché has the Aussies “giving it a go”. But the ‘giving it a go’ is always, in my experience, underpinned by hours and hours and hours of serious analysis aimed at capturing the technical aspects of the position or skill.  Not the least of Australia’s sporting tactics is the deliberate fostering of the idea that all they do is turn up and ‘give it a go’ before cracking open a few tinnies and firing up the Barbie.

 The Aussies crack the training manual and analytic tools much harder than they crack the tinnies and they ‘fire up’ their critical faculties much quicker than the Barbie.

 I noticed this and determined to learn everything I could. I may not have done that but I flatter myself that I learned as much as anyone could have and much more than most.

 The aspects of rugby most amenable to training and development of technique are goal kicking and scrummaging.  I set out systematically to break down both skills into component parts and then find out who understood those components best and could teach them.  That mission is what made me attend on every practice session taken (and given) by my Lansdowne teammate, Mick Quinn.  He was a consummate trainer who, in turn, introduced me to one of the single biggest influences on my attitudeand technique: Naas Botha. The appellation ‘legend’ is tossed around now perhaps a bit too readily but you’re not going to get any disagreement from anyone with a real knowledge of the game if you garland Naas Botha with that description.  And the first - the very first thing – you noticed about Naas Botha was that he absolutely laughed at the idea that talent on its own was ever going to be sufficient.  He practiced for hours and hours.  He was relentlessly critical of his own style and technique and unashamedly worked towards improving even the most minute percentages that he was  convinced added up to improving his performance and increasing his team’s chances of winning. His attitude and approach made an indelible impression on me and they continue to colour my view that it is only through this marriage of work and skill that we truly prepare to play at the highest level and play to win. So taken was I with Naas’s blueprint that I actually began goal kicking myself to give myself a skill to master from ‘scratch’. I trained with the great Tony Ward and Michael Kiernan and did the hours and afternoons and days of kicking practice till eventually I mastered the art and became the designated goal kicker for all the teams I played within Australia. My reputation as something of a ‘kicking doctor’ brought me to the attention of the famous ‘Rabbitohs’,  South Sydney Rugby League franchise,  and  I spent a season with them and their junior ‘feeder’team. I also set a business in coaching goalkicking.

 Similarly with the technique and skills around scrummaging; find the best coaches you can, attend on them, listen to them,  ask the questions, learn the answers and - perhaps  even more important -  learn the right questions.   Dublin University’s Roly Meates was an acknowledged scrummage expert with whom I trained and from whom I learned a great deal.  Jake Howard, the Australian scrum expert and forwards’ coach, was another who repaid close attention and concentration.  All of this overlaid the critical emphasis on forward play and immaculate powerful scrummaging that had always been the hallmark of Limerick rugby and most specifically, my beloved Young Munster, where individuals like Tony Grant spent their coaching lives analysing the dynamics and factors at play.

 That Number Nine position, scrum half, is the transition from power and dynamics to the speed and line of attack by the running backs.  Too often it is the latter aspect that bewitches the observer. But not in the Limerick School - and certainly not in the Young Munster classroom. There it was understood and ‘drummed in’ from age eight onwards that it was the forwards who provided the platform. The backs were the final flourishes on the canvas but the background – if not the actual canvas itself - was and remains the forwards, the pack, the ability to marshal your scrummage. The backs are the bullets but it is the forwards who are the gun.

 I returned to Ireland in 1999 and was press-ganged into underage coaching almost immediately proceeding from Young Munster U20s to Kanturk, Galbally, Listowel and Castletroy College and taking with me, wherever it is, the conviction that it is this command of the basics and combination of talent with a work ethic that is the secret. If any element is missing then it becomes difficult if the need for those elements is not understood then it becomes impossible.

 And that is exactly the same philosophy I bring to my passion for golf. I started late, only taking up the sport after I returned from Australia. But if there was ever a sport or a pastime designed to test my theory about how to achieve mastery then it was golf. I worked hard at achieving the necessary technique and worked even harder to breakdown the sport into the discrete components that I could then analyse separately till I understood them.  At risk of appearing immodest, the results were eye-catching: My partner, Jude, and I represented Munster in the AIB Christy O’Connor Jr Challenge a bare six years after taking the game up. As of now, I have won five Junior Scratch Cup competitions and represented my club, Rathbane (who I had the honour to captain in 2006) in various competitions like the Jimmy Bruen, Junior Cup, Senior Cup and Barton Shield.

 I suppose I can be accused of being too concentrated on my golf (or rugby) for the ordinary participant. If it’s wrong to demand everything then I am happy to plead guilty. And I do concede that if you’re just in it ‘for the craic’, as we’d say in Limerick, then I’m probably not the one to ask to coach or advise. I can’t understand not trying to the maximum of your ability. I don’t understand why if you’re going to play something why you wouldn’t want to play it as best you can. ‘All it takes is everything you have’ is not a warning as far as I’m concerned. To me it’s an echo. It’s a homing call. It’s the way I would be anyway.  It’s the minimum that I’ll ask of myself.

 And it’s nearly the minimum I ask of anyone that wants to go with me and see how far that’ll get us.


 Eddie Costelloe.

 30 November 2015.       

Personal details:
Born Limerick, Ireland.
Date of birth: 02/03/1958
Contact number:353 (0) 86 805 8077
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Work resume.



 I started my five year apprenticeship as an electrician in 1973 and continued as an electrician until 1980.


 I decided on a change of career and I took some sales training courses and became a salesman in the insurance industry and then in the office equipment industry mainly postal and paper handling equipment, photocopiers and facsimile machines based in Limerick and later in Dublin. I worked for companies such as: Combined Insurance Company of Ireland, Pitney Bowes and Bryan S Ryan. 


 I immigrated to Sydney, Australia where I continued my sales career in the paper handling industry working for companies, Remington/Pitney Bowes, Alcatel and Hassler Office Equipment. Over time I was promoted to New South Wales Manager and then Queensland State Sales Manager. I then had a change in direction and became a self-employed agent mainly selling photocopiers and facsimile machines. While selling facsimile machines I made some connections with AAPT Telecommunications and added a dealership for their products to my business, it wasn’t long before the telecoms became the main business. I also opened a mobile phone shop to complement the business and employed up to ten agents and telesales marketers.

 In October 1996 Rugby Union turned professional and in late 1997 I set up a sports management business representing Australian Internationals Rugby players, John WelbornWarwick Waugh and Tom Bowman. Through some business and rugby contacts I was awarded a contract to represent a sports apparel company, Logo Sports and I secured the contract to supply the ACT Brumbies and ACT Rugby with all their rugby apparel. I also signed up most of the rugby clubs in Sydney to purchase most of their rugby gear and apparel from Logo Sports. My move to Ireland in 1999 brought an end to my business interests in Australia and my telecoms contract allowed for the sale of the business to AAPT which was finalised in 2001.


 On arrival back in Ireland, I set up a telecommunications business rebilling telephone bills. I signed a contract with MCI WorldCom as the provider of telecoms. MCI ran in financial troubles and their business closed in 2004. I then purchased a golfing website business www.golfingireland.ie and the income from this mainly came from hotel advertising. In  August 2005 I joined Gleeson Sport Scene as the manager of their Golf department. I remained in the position until July 2006. The revenue from this site ceased in 2008 when the financial crash happened in Ireland. The website is still in operation but is now a mainly information based site. Currently I coach young kids to play rugby with Rugbytots Ireland and I manage a family owned pub O'Sheas Pub, Ballysimon, Limerick.

Previous Rugby Coaching Position

2015/2016            Rugbytots Ireland              Position:           Coach   

2015/2016            Young Munster RFC            Position:           Game Analyst   
                             John  Staunton was the coach and asked if I could analsye  both the Young Munster team and their opposition for the last four games and give a report on how best to play them.

2014/2015            Castletroy College              Position:          Bowen Shield Coach

Listowel R.F.C.                  Position:           Club Coach

2005/2006           Galbally R.F.C.                  Position:           Club Coach

2002/2005           Kanturk R.F.C.            Position:      Club Coach

 Kanturk were in the Junior League, Second Division until the season of 2004/2005 when the Munster Branch amalgamated Divisions One and Two of the Junior League.


 2001/2002:            Young Munster R.F.C. under 20 Team Coach.

 1999/2001             Appointed mid season to take over the position as Coach of the Young Munster R.F.C. under 20 Team.

 Sydney, Australia.

 No coaching due to business commitments during 1998 and 1999

 1997                      South Sydney Rugby League Juniors         Position:        Specialist Goal Kicking Coach, I also owned a specialist goal kicking coaching business.

 1996                                  Drummoyne Rugby Club                           Position:           Club Coach

 Responsibilities:     Drummoyne was a club in the third division of the Sub-District competition in the Sydney area. There were four grades/teams in the club. I was coaching the 1St. team and the coaching coordinator for all coaches. I was the first team selector and I was then a selector in all other grades. Organising and setting up coaching sessions for both coaches and training sessions. Specialised training for specialist positions. 

 Results:                  Won both first and second grade and beaten grand finalists in third grade. As a result of this the club were promoted to the second division.

 1995                                            Hunters Hill Rugby Club

 Position:                 Seconds team coach.

 Responsibilities:     Hunters Hill was a club in the first division of the Sub-District competition in the Sydney area. There were four grade sides and a colt’s side, under 19. I was coaching the seconds and during the season I was also asked to assist with the first grade.

 Results:                  Second grade beaten Finalists and first grade went on to win the competition.

 1994                      Founder member of the Sydney Irish Rugby XV. Position: Player/Coach of the team. Match of the year, Sydney Irish XV –V- Mt. Isa, in Mt. Isa, Queensland. It was the curtain raiser for the Ireland –V- Australia A.

 1992/1994             Eastern Suburbs District Rugby Club

 Position:                 Fifth grade coach

 Responsibilities:     Eastern Suburbs are one of the premier clubs in Sydney and play in the main competition called the Sydney Premiership. I had been playing for the club since my arrival in Sydney and when I retired I took over the coaching of the fifth and sixth grades.

 1993                      Coach to the under 13 rugby team.

Coaching Credentials

 Australia:               Level 2. At the time this was the highest available certificate for club coaches.

 Ireland:                  Attended the level three coaching course in 2000.
 Playing Career

 1988-1990/1992    Eastern Suburbs District Rugby Football Club.

 Position:                Played mostly at scrumhalf and outhalf at all grades. 

 1989                      A business move to Brisbane saw me join Brothers Rugby Club for one season.

 1987                      Garryowen F.C. Limerick, Ireland

 Position:                 Scrumhalf:  Played with Garryowen in the Munster Cup prior to leaving for Australia.

 1984/1986             Lansdowne F.C. Dublin, Ireland

 Position:                 Scrumhalf:  Joined Lansdowne after moving from Limerick to Dublin to live. Played for the Lansdowne senior team until a move back to Limerick prior to leaving for Australia.

 1973/1984             Young Munster R.F.C. Limerick, Ireland

 Position:                 Scrumhalf…Came up through the underage system in Y.M.R.F.C. and played with the senior team from 1978 onwards. I played in two Senior Cup winning teams.

 Rugby Representative Honours:       

 I played for the first Limerick Under 18 team.

 I was capped for the Munster provincial side, at Senior, Junior, Under 20 and Under 23 levels.

 While living in Dublin I was capped for the Leinster provincial side and also for the Irish Wolfhounds.

Key points in Goal Kicking.


  • Repetition.

  • Beginning practice – kicking along the touchline – up one side down the other – 5 kicks each.

  • Once kicked the ball travels straight – no bad side.

  • Knowing distance – max distance – distance from all angles.

  • PMA - Positive Mental Attitude.

  • Clear thoughts – laser sight before kick.

  • Conditions.

  • Practice – how often – how many – where.

  • Body position.

  • Fluency.

  • Alignment – ball – body.

  • Pick a point a metre in front of the ball.

  • Pick a point behind the posts.

  • Quick fixes.

  • Ball position on kicking tee.

  • Practicing poorly – stop - come back another day.

  • Head down follow through.

 Prepared by Eddie Costelloe 086 805 8077 www.eddiecostelloe.com








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