DUFC coach Tony Smeeth almost didn’t make it to the awards ceremony last Tuesday – because it clashed with training. But a Superman-esque change followed by a quick sprint to the venue meant that he made it on time to receive his latest accolade.
On this occasion the honour was from the Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland and the ceremony took place in the Storehouse.
On the night Joe Schmidt presented Tony with the Tom Rooney Award for his contribution to rugby, which Tony considers to be a “great compliment to Trinity”. Tony is currently in his 18th season with DUFC, which he joined from Blackrock College RFC.
The high-profile event, which only comprises six awards in total, was attended by a who’s who from the sport, including Pat Lam, Leo Cullen, Les Kiss, CJ Stander.
As for the award itself Tony joked afterward: “I always get a bit nervous about these contribution awards – they’re normally something you get at the end of your career! But it’s nice though.”
After picking up his award, Tony was then quizzed in a Q&A session on the various challenges of the role, particularly the constantly changing rota of student players: “You just have to stay fresh – really, this is the best coaching job in Ireland.”
It wasn’t all work on the night though. Tony also had a chance to catch up with some Trinity alum in attendance including former DUFC players Hugo MacNeill and Philip Orr. Orr also won one of the night’s coveted awards when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.