- UCC ranked among top universities in Europe for teaching excellence
Times Higher Education Europe Teaching Rankings 2019
- UCC makes Green Flag history…again!
The first university in the world to be awarded a fourth Green Flag
- Blazing a trail
Professor Helen Whelton charts her path to success, from curious dentistry student to global award-winner
- A Summer’s Evening on the Quad hits the right note for Cork charities
The fundraising event is now in its 14th year
- A curious mind
Paul Ross on his love of science, his greatest moments of discovery, and the exciting next chapter at APC Microbiome Ireland
- Mind your microbiome: 9 ways to boost your gut health
In honour of World Microbiome Day
- UCC hosts top wind energy experts at Cork’s largest ever conference
Scientists and engineers gathered to discuss the future of renewable energy
- Lord David Puttnam makes a passionate case for careers in the arts
He features in the latest episode of UCC’s podcast, Plain Speaking
- Funding announced for UCC SFI Research Centres
- Beekeeping makes life sweeter for Cork kids
- Saving Ireland's seals with GPS
- UCC celebrates a stellar year in sport
- Tommy Fleming headlines A Summer's Evening on the Quad
Tickets available now
- UCC ranked as global leader for sustainable social and economic impact
Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings
- Former UCC President Michael Murphy becomes first ever Irish President of EUA
Professor Murphy served as UCC President for 10 years
- MaREI researcher returns from epic adventure in search of blue whales
Dr Ailbhe Kavanagh spent seven weeks in Antarctica
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Writer Doireann is a UCC alumna
- Former White House drug advisor goes 'inside America’s opioid crisis'
Keith Humphreys is the latest guest on UCC's official podcast, Plain Speaking
- UCC launches Sports Strategy
Pride on our chest, belief in our heart, sport in our bones.
- How Nicole Ryan is powering change after tragedy
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Research and innovation
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A perfect match
- Praise for The Irish Revolution as 'Atlas' documentary airs on RTÉ
Atlas of the Irish Revolution
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UCC launches its Food Institute
- Making waves at MaREI
Ireland's National Ocean Test Facility opens
- Research spotlight: APC Microbiome Ireland
10 researchers among Highly Cited
- Spin-out success
Atlantia Food Clinical Trials expanding stateside
- Billy Morgan: Pride of Cork
Marking a decade of UCC Sigerson Cup football
- The future is bright for soccer's Captain Fantastic
- The next phase for rugby's rising star
- RTÉ to air 'Atlas' documentary
The next step for the Atlas of the Irish Revolution
- Top business talent share their secrets to success
CUBS Conference 2019
- Green roots and flying boots: Cork Chamber project showcases ‘future’ of Cork
Future Forms is part of Cork Chamber’s 200th anniversary celebrations
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Moving the goalposts
- Mary Robinson is the first guest on UCC’s new podcast
Plain Speaking is now available to stream
The next phase for rugby's rising star
Jack O’Sullivan has his eyes on the prize after fighting back from injury
In conversation with Adrian McGearty. Words by Jane Haynes
It’s the mark of a great sportsman when, in the midst of praise of his personal achievements, he takes the greatest satisfaction from the successes of his team.
If you ascribe to this belief, then you’ll surely agree that Jack O’Sullivan, second year Finance student and rising rugby star at UCC, is a shining example.
2018 was quite the year for Jack, a member of UCC’s Rugby Club as well as the Munster Academy. His selection for Ireland’s U20 Six Nations squad in the spring prompted excitement from fans and critics alike, with his performance in the tournament earning him two Man of the Match awards.
When we speak with Jack, however, he describes the plaudits as ‘bittersweet’.
“It’s hard, because I got Man of the Match against Wales, but we still ended up losing the game. Against Scotland, we still won the game but we didn’t play great,” he reflects.
“There is nothing like sharing a win, or winning with your teammates.”
Jack would know all about reaping the rewards of hard work within a team. He first fell in love with rugby at the age of six, at Sunday’s Well RFC, after being introduced to the sport by his father – himself, a fellow former number 8.
"You wouldn’t see it, but the injured player is the first one in in the morning, and the last one gone in the evening, Monday to Friday. You’re working harder than anyone else to ensure you come back" - Jack O'Sullivan
When the time came to move on, Jack followed the footsteps of many successful UCC rugby stars, to Presentation Brothers College. There, he was part of teams that won a Junior Cup, a Bowen Shield, and the coveted Senior Cup. Jack also represented at Munster youth teams during the summer where, as he says himself, the selectors ‘get a real look at you’.
The Munster cohort liked what they saw, and Jack was welcomed into the Munster Academy, a wing of the club dedicated to ‘preparing young players for life in and beyond professional rugby’. Now in his second year of the Academy, Jack has big ambitions for the year ahead.
“I want to be in the starting team. I want to win with Munster and try to cement my place on the Munster team,” says Jack.
If the past few years are anything to go by, Jack is well on his way to realising those goals. Not only has he enjoyed success, but he has shown amazing dedication. As well as Munster and his international involvement, Jack has become a prized asset for UCC, where he describes his experience as ‘brilliant’.
“I find you’re developing two sides of the game from playing at UCC – with people your own age and a little younger – because you’re just out of school and almost helping them as well,” explains the Quercus Scholar.
“The team’s form last year really helped me to improve my own game, because everyone else was playing so well around me. That’s what got me onto the Irish squad, to perform in the Six Nations.”
While success has characterised Jack’s rugby career thus far, like any other player, it hasn’t all been plain sailing. After the excitement of being selected for the Irish U20 World Cup squad last summer, he was dealt a crushing blow just a week before the tournament, when a cruciate ligament injury side-lined him.
“It certainly wasn’t good timing, but recovery has been going well and I’ve some great people working with me,” says Jack.
“You wouldn’t see it, but the injured player is the first one in in the morning, and the last one gone in the evening, Monday to Friday. You’re working harder than anyone else to ensure you come back. I’ve been working hard and keeping to plan, and hopefully I’ll be back soon to hit the ground running.”
Jack’s positivity and resolve to focus on the positive is refreshing. So, too, is his acknowledgement of the people who support him daily, especially those helping him to find a balance between sport and study.
“There’s no doubt that being up in Limerick with Munster and trying to study down in UCC is very tough,” says Jack, joking, “I’m always getting an earful from my parents!”
“Michele [Power] and Elaine [O’Mahony] in Quercus, Jack Casey [Rugby Development Officer, UCC] – they have been very helpful...Then, in Munster, we have Marcus Horan, who works with all the players and helps you get through all those pressures. There is a great support team around me.”
Looking ahead to getting back out on the field in 2019, Jack sounds off with his trademark positivity.
“We [UCC] have our first win, so I’m confident we’ll have a good run of games. I would like to be back in January, and I hope to be playing in every game while I’m selected.”
We don’t doubt it for a second.
Follow this link for more information about the Quercus Talented Students’ Programme.