In a departure from its normal type of event, Shannon Chamber joined forces with mobile telecoms operator Three to host a morning conversation between rugby stars, former Irish and Leinster winger, Shane Horgan and Munster’s Dougie Howlett in Dromoland Castle Hotel.
In true rugby style, former All Black Dougie Howlett answered a last-minute call up to step into Ronan O’Gara’s shoes due to Ronan’s unfortunate unavailability for family reasons.
A former Munster captain, Howlett was forced to retire from the professional game at the end of last season due to a shoulder injury. He has remained in Cork with his family and is now working as a Corporate Ambassador with the Munster Rugby’s Commercial Board.
Undaunted by the task Howlett enthralled the audience with his recollections of playing for the All Blacks, his move to Ireland to join Munster Rugby, and his views on how the skills and disciplines amassed during a rugby career prepare players for the next phase of their lives.
He cited attributes such as communication skills, a good work ethic, being a good team player, accepting responsibility for errors, and an ability to make decisions under pressure as being equally applicable to business and rugby.
Commenting on the event, Shannon Chamber’s chief executive Helen Downes said: “It was a very inspiring event and gave attendees a real insight into and appreciation for the dedication players of this calibre gave to their careers as rugby players and now in new undertakings in their lives. I personally now have a greater appreciation for the effort our high-level players put into their games. As they said, you get out what you put in and it’s the same in all walks of life.”