Love for his home club runs deep for Ian
DESPITE being away from the club since 2014, Cork Constitution is never far from the mind of Buttevant native Ian Nagle.
Currently on a hiatus from Italian side Zebre as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Nagle will be in his hometown for the foreseeable future.
He had expressed an interest in linking up with the Temple Hill outfit only for their own season to be cut short in recent weeks.
“If I came back here and rugby had continued as normal, and the restrictions had stayed in place in Italy, I was hoping to train with Cork Con if not play with them.
“I’d always keep an eye to see how the teams are progressing,” Nagle said.
“It was very sad to see, considering they had been unbeaten for the year, that they won’t get to play out the rest of the season.
“I was heartbroken for them, but fingers crossed they’ll do the same next year.”
Now 31 years of age, the former Munster, London Irish and Leinster lock hasn’t ruled out the prospect of returning to Irish domestic rugby somewhere down the line.
But for now his focus is entirely on getting the very most of his professional career.
“I’ve been playing rugby now for 20 years and when it gets to the stage where I’m finished professionally, I’ll weigh up the benefits to maybe playing domestically again.
“I also said I’d play a few games for Mallow as well at some stage. I might go back and do that, but that’s in the future to be honest.”
Though he is now back in the south, Nagle had to first come through two weeks of self-isolation at the north Dublin home of his Zebre team-mate Mick Kearney.
While this wasn’t a mandatory requirement, the second row pair felt it was best to err on the side of caution.
“When we arrived in Dublin Airport, there was a Covid-19 stand and we asked whether it was necessary or not for us to go into self-isolation.
“The feedback we got was that unless you have symptoms or you’ve been directly in contact with someone who has tested positive, then there’s no need,” Nagle recalls.
“It was a more a case that if we met people and they knew that we’d returned from northern Italy, that there’d be a perception we were being a bit irresponsible.
“The decision was to self-isolate for two weeks, just to be sure.
“Within those two weeks, the numbers in Ireland were beginning to double. In hindsight, it was a good decision to self-isolate.”