Colm O'Rourke has pledged that new Meath champions Simonstown Gaels will be "worthy representatives" of the county in the provincial championship.

Royal clubs have a terrible recent record in Leinster, but a convincing display in Sunday's county final against Donaghmore-Ashbourne will have raised hopes of a competitive encounter when they take on the impressive Rhode of Offaly.

"I wasn't quite sure who was in the next stage [for us]," O'Rourke told RTÉ Sport. "The record of Meath clubs is not good but we'll be worthy representatives of our county."

The win marked Simonstown's first ever county title, and for O'Rourke the occasion was doubly sweet as son Shane played a starring role in the middle of the park.

"It's a great thrill to have won something, and it is extra special that Shane was playing as well," the Meath legend said.

"We all dream of getting to a final and playing like kings and it just happened like that for us today.

"It's fantastic for the club. We always lived in the shadow of Navan O'Mahony's and it was something that was badly missing in our club. This is as good as anything I've been involved in.

"You could see that performance coming for the last few weeks in training. You could see these lads were really getting going."

"You could see that performance coming for the last few weeks in training. You could see these lads were really getting going."

Shane O'Rourke plundered a pair of points from his midfield station, and his father praised him for overcoming a series of setbacks.

"I thought he was superb and he's had a great year for us. He's had a lot of trouble - three hip operations - and he set his mind on having a good campaign for the club this year and I'm delighted for him.

"It takes a lot of work for him even to go through a match, with all the stretching and exercises he must do. It's fantastic for him."

With two weeks until that Leinster quarter-final clash with Rhode, the availability of O'Rourke's midfield partner Conor Nash becomes a key question for Simonstown.

Nash, also a talented rugby player, has signed a contract with AFL side Hawthorn, and is due to head to Australia next month to begin preseason training.

"I'd love to see him playing for Simonstown and centre-field for Meath, but he could play rugby for Ireland, he's had offers there, and now he's got the offers of Aussie Rules, so we wish him well," O'Rourke snr said.

"But at the same time I'd love to see him back. I'd like to confiscate his ticket and let him go out in January."