Gavin Coombes, born on December 11, 1997, is an Irish professional rugby union player who plays as a number eight for Munster in the United Rugby Championship and the Ireland national team. He hails from Skibbereen, Cork, and has had an impressive rugby career.
Coombes began his rugby journey at Skibbereen RFC before attending Bandon Grammar School. He showcased his skills as a player and served as the captain of the senior rugby team, leading them to the quarter-finals of the 2016 Munster Schools Rugby Senior Cup. During his youth career, Coombes represented Munster at the under-18 and under-19 levels, winning inter-provincial championships with both teams. He also had the opportunity to represent Ireland at the under-18 and under-19 levels.
In the 2016-17 season, Coombes was a part of the Munster A team that secured victory in the British and Irish Cup. This success marked an important milestone in his career. He made his competitive debut for Munster on September 1, 2018, coming off the bench in a Pro14 match against Cheetahs. Following this, Coombes signed a two-year contract with Munster in October 2018, which officially placed him in the senior team starting from the 2019-20 season.
Coombes made a notable impact on the field, scoring his first tries for Munster in a Pro14 match against Scarlets in February 2020. One of his standout performances came in November 2020 when he scored a hat-trick of tries and won the Man-of-the-Match award in Munster's Pro14 victory over Ospreys. He also made his debut in the prestigious Champions Cup in December 2020, scoring a try in Munster's home win against Harlequins.
Coombes continued to impress and signed a two-year contract extension with Munster in March 2021. He showcased his skills in significant matches, including the Pro14 Grand Final against Leinster in March 2021 and the Champions Cup match against Toulouse in the 2020-21 season. His performance in the latter match earned him two tries.
In recognition of his outstanding performances during the 2020-21 season, Coombes received the Munster Player of the Year award, becoming the youngest-ever recipient of the accolade. He carried his form into the following season, scoring two tries in Munster's opening fixture of the 2021-22 United Rugby Championship against the Sharks. Coombes earned his 50th cap for Munster in April 2022 but suffered an ankle injury during the match, requiring surgery. He made a successful return to the field in June 2022 for the quarter-final of the 2021-22 URC against Ulster.
Coombes' impressive performances also earned him opportunities with the Ireland national team. He made his senior international debut as a replacement in a test match against Japan in July 2021 and scored his first try for Ireland in a match against the United States the following week. He was subsequently selected for the Ireland rugby union tour of New Zealand in 2022 and played in uncapped matches against the Māori All Blacks, where he showcased his skills and scored tries.
Overall, Gavin Coombes has established himself as a talented rugby player, making significant contributions to Munster and gaining recognition on the international stage with Ireland.
|2017 - present|
|2022 - present|
|2017 - 2017|
|Bandon Grammar School
|2021 - 2023|