A local rugby player has joined the ranks of one of Europe’s biggest rugby clubs.
Peter Lydon (21) from Kilkenny City has signed a contract with French giants Stade Francais, with the academy side. His pre-season training begins at the end of June.
While there had been speculation for a number of weeks, the move was only finalised and confirmed early this week. Part of the academy programme will be for the Kilkenny outhalf to take French language courses in the morning, with gym work and training later on in the day.
“My target is to start regularly for the academy and it’s an opportunity to maybe break into the first team,” he told the Kilkenny People.
The former Kilkenny College student started playing rugby with Kilkenny RFC when he was four years’ old. He played rugby for his school, Lansdowne, and then most recently with Seapoint, when the french side began showing interest in him.
His coach at Seapoint, Nigel Osbourne, has well-established connections there, and managed to pave the way for an introduction. This result in a kicking session in France with legend Diego Dominguez, following which he was asked to come back for procedural tests and screening.
Lydon is the third past pupil of Kilkenny College in recent times to uproot from home and join a major European club side. Earlier in the year, Lansdowne outhalf Craig Ronaldson agreed a move to Irish club Connacht, while last year, back row forward Robin Copeland signed a deal with Welsh side the Cardiff Blues.