BNOC- big name on campus is the In At the Side version of hotshots. Every few weeks we’ll pick a player who has stood out to us and that we feel has a big future in the game.
This week our BNOC is Dulwich scum half Tom O’Flaherty. The scrum half has been putting in fantastic displays for the South London school, including a dominant performance in the final where his decision making and bossing of the forward pack was exceptional, as was his defense where he or rather his hair was seen flying through the air to make a cover tackle on the Old Swinford Wing. He acts as a fourth flanker making turnovers and leading the defensive line, yet combines this with an artistic touch that provides a spark to the Dulwich backline that is otherwise missing. Not to mention his hat-rick in the semi final that saw Dulwich through to the final.
Despite all of this the scrum half is seemingly nonchalant about his own personal performances. Speaking to him after his side won the Daily Mail cup final, he was quick to point out the performance of the Dulwich pack and credited them as well as his sides determination and grit as the reason for their cup win. Asked whether he feels that his performances are worthy of an academy inclusion, the curly hair scrum half says with a big smile on his face “no comment’ and laughs off such a thought.
He may laugh, but others do not. Head of rugby at Dulwich Sam Howard noted of the player “Tommy has been absolutely great for us all year. There is no point in trying to play it down, because he has … it is maybe quite surprising he hasn’t been picked up”.
It seems almost farcical that O’Flaherty hasn’t seen his career progress with a professional side, given his natural all round ability he posses the talent required to play professional rugby. So long as his performances continue to be of the standard they have been, then it seems only a matter of time before he makes the jump into pro rugby. Look out for his big curly hair in the future, you’ll struggle to miss it.