From September 2009, the IRFU will implement the International Rugby Board (IRB) date of eligibility, which is defined as the age of any player on the 1st of January of that season (in 2009/10 an U15 player will be defined as a player â€œUnder 15 years of age on the 1st January 2010â€?) viz. born in 1995 or later.
After consultation with the relevant Branch and Union stakeholders regarding the most appropriate age bands, to maximise transition of players through youth and schools rugby to the adult game, the following age categories has been agreed:
Leprechaun Rugby: 7s
Mini Rugby: 8s, 9s, 10s, 11s and 12s
Youth Rugby: 13s, 15s, 17s and 19s (Branches have the ability to operate intermediate ages at 14s, 16s and 18s if there is appropriate numbers.)
Schools: 13s, 14s, 15s, 16s and/or 17s, and 19s
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Twenty four teams, and in excess of 300 players, took part in the Buntus Rugby Tag blitz for primary schools, which was held on the main pitch at Sligo IT on Friday last. The emphasis in the blitz was on participation, and in the glorious weather, the players enjoyed the experience immensely. Buntus rugby is a joint Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership and IRFU promotion, and is proving to be very successful. The Connacht Branch were represented by Martin Gallagher, Club Development Manager, and R.D.O., Lyndon Jones, and the Sports Partnership by Teresa Kilgallon.
In his last duty as club President, Tom Gilligan thanked the Sligo Sports Partnership and the IRFU for ensuring Buntus rugby is so successful in so many primary schools in Co. Sligo. He thanked all primary teachers involved for their dedication, and congratulated all the boys and girls on their rugby skills.
A blitz for girls in schools who partook in Tag Rugby coaching, was held on Thursday last in Sligo I.T. The coaching was a pilot project of the Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership, in co-operation with Sligo RFC, under the Women in Sport initiative, and was conducted by Simon Galvan.
After two excellent and closely contested semi-finals, where Mercy College and Ursuline College were very narrowly defeated, Sligo Grammar School and Scoil Mhuire, Ballymote qualified for the final. This was an extremely exciting encounter, between two evenly matched sides, but in the end, the Ballymote girls, managed by Lorcan Lyngh, gained a narrow victory over the Grammar, managed by Jimmy Staunton.
Afterwards, both winners and runners-up were presented with their medals by club President, Tom Gilligan, who congratulated all the participants, thanked the Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership, and coach Simon Galvan, and welcomed Theresa Kilgallon of the Sligo Sport and Recreation partnership. He also thanked Sligo I.T. for the use of their excellent facilities and congratulated Scoil Mhuire and Lorcan Lyngh on their win.
More photos courtesy of Theresa Kilgallon are available here.
Under the aegis of the Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership, supported by Sligo RFC and Connacht Rugby, coaching of girls in Tag Rugby in five Co. Sligo secondary schools will commence on Monday next. The schools involved in the coaching are; Coola Post Primary School, Mercy College, Sligo, Ursuline College, Sligo, Scoil Mhuire, Ballymote and Sligo Grammar School.
The coaching course, which will run for four weeks, will be delivered by Simon Galvan, whose track record as both a coach and a player in Sligo, as a player in the AIL with U.C.D. and Greystones, and in his native New Zealand, is top class. Tag rugby is Ireland’s fastest growing sport, and following the coaching course, a blitz between the participating schools will be organised and sponsored by the club, and held in Hamilton Park.
Sligo RFC plans to promote women’s rugby, and re-enter national competitions, when the club moves to its new facilities. In the past, the club fielded a very strong women’s team, and contested the all-Ireland league final. At that time also, two Sligo players, Therese Cosgrove and Ann O’Toole were capped for Ireland at full International level, while Sylvia Hunter and Finola Monaghan were capped for Ireland at ‘A’ level. Hopefully, some of the participants in next week’s coaching will emulate these notable achievements, and go on to represent their club and country with distinction in the future.
Sligo Grammar School 8 :: Marist College, Athlone 5
There were scenes of jubilation and unrestrained joy at the Galway Sportsgrounds on Wednesday last, when after a fiercely contested Connacht Junior Schools final, Sligo Grammar School emerged victorious over Marist College, Athlone, in an absorbing game. After an encounter marked by admirable commitment and sportsmanship from both sides, the vociferous Sligo supporters were ecstatic when Connacht Branch Vice-President, Mick Grealish, presented the Connacht Tribune Cup to the winning captain, John Healy.
Continue reading ‘Grammar School Juniors Win Connacht Double’
Sligo Grammar School play Marist College, Athlone in the final of the Connacht Junior Schools Cup at the Galway Sportsgrounds on Wednesday next at 3 pm. Both sides have impressed in their outings to date, with Grammar overcoming Clifden Community School in the semi-final, while Marist saw off St. Joseph’s, Galway. These two sides also met in the league final in Athlone before Christmas, with Grammar scoring the narrowest of victories, 6-5.
This promises to be another closely fought encounter. Grammar are a well balanced side, with no apparent weaknesses, and are well coached by Jimmy Staunton and Simon Galvan. In centre, John Healy they have a potential match winner, while out-half, Eoin O’Doherty is a very accomplished goal kicker. Up front Thomas Ferrari, Diarmuid O’Dowd-Hill and David Heath are sure to provide a lot of possession.
The star of the Marist side is out-half, Jack Carty, and if Grammar can close him down, they will be favourites to lift the coveted trophy.
Congratulations to the Sligo Grammar School Junior team which convincingly defeated Clifden Community School in the Connacht Schools Junior Cup semi-final on Wednesday last in Westport. They play Marist College Athlone in the final on Wednesday March 12th in the Sportsgrounds.
This will be a repeat of the recent Connacht League final in Athlone, when Grammar scored a narrow victory. Following this game, and club games between Sligo and Buccaneers, the players will be very familiar with each others’ play, so a cliff-hanger seems in prospect. Best of luck to the Grammar team, and to their coaches, Jimmy Staunton and Simon Galvan, from the President and all club members.
Sligo Grammar School’s junior side advanced to the Connacht Junior Cup semi-final with an impressive 36-0 victory over St. Calasanctus College, Oranmore at the Mall on Friday last. They play Clifden Community School in the semi-final in Westport on Wednesday February 27th.
Continue reading ‘Grammar School Juniors March On’
There is certain to be a very large crowd at the Mall on Monday (Feb 25th) next for the semi-final of the Connacht Senior Schools’ Cup between Sligo Grammar School and Colaiste Iognaid, Galway [ Kick-Off 2 pm].
With no fewer than six of their starting side eligible to play in this competition in two years time, Grammar school will certainly look to the future with a lot of confidence. However, they will view the fact that they have the Cup favourites on their home pitch, and in front of their own vociferous supporters, as the ideal opportunity to cause a major upset. Although the Galway city school will field no fewer than eight current Connacht U-18 players, they certainly will not look forward to the trip to Sligo.
Grammar School have been improving steadily all season, and there is surely no shrewder coach in schools’ rugby in extracting optimum performances from all his charges on the big day than James Gavin. A very exciting game seems in prospect, and Grammar School are wished well from the President and Committee of Sligo RFC.
Meanwhile best wishes to the Grammar School Junior team, and their coach, Club Hon. Treasurer, Jimmy Staunton, in the Connacht Schools’ Junior Cup Quarter Final V St. Calasanctus, Oranmore, at the Mall on Friday February 29th. This game has a 3.00 pm start.
Training courses in Tag Rugby for primary teachers from schools throughout Co. Sligo, were held on Thursday and Friday last, and attracted approximately 40 teachers. The course is part of the Buntus Rugby initiative which is being promoted by the IRFU and the Sligo Sports Partnership. Teachers from the participating schools from throughout Co. Sligo were given coaching expertise by IRFU personnel, who included Stuart Abbot, the current captain of AIL Division 1 side Greystones. All the schools represented were also presented with tag rugby gear. Continue reading ‘Buntus Rugby Comes To Co. Sligo’
The much awaited Connacht Senior Schools’ semi-final between Sligo Grammar School and Colaiste Iognaid, Galway, will take place at the Grammar School’s grounds at the Mall on Monday February 25th at 1.30 pm. Despite the fact that the ‘Jes’ will field eight of the Connacht team which recently won the Youths’ Inter-provincial championship, and that Grammar will field six players who are still eligible to play at U-16 level, this is a game which is certain to generate great enthusiasm amongst all local supporters of the game.
Summerhill College 7 :: Sligo Grammar School 13
Sligo Grammar School emerged as worthy victors in the Connacht Colleges’ Senior Cup quarter final against Summerhill College at Summerhill on Wednesday last in an enthralling cup tie, where both sides played with passion, commitment and skill.
Playing before a large vociferous crowd, on a bitterly cold afternoon, the teams were understandably affected by the tension of the occasion, and were prone to making some uncharacteristic errors in the early stages. However, in the best tradition of schools’ rugby, although the exchanges were always ferociously contested, the game was played in a very sporting spirit, which is a tribute to all the players and their coaches. Continue reading ‘Grammar School Prevail In Thrilling Local Derby’
The Connacht Senior Schools’ Quarter final between Summerhill College and Sligo Grammar School has been fixed for Wednesday January 30th at 2.30 pm in the Summerhill College grounds.
The two schools met previously in the Senior Cup in the late 1980′s, but this is definitely the first time two Sligo schools have met in the Senior Cup, where both schools will entertain realistic hopes of outright victory in the competition. Grammar’s first round annihilation of Portumna C.S., former Cup winners, in Portumna, has shortened their odds of eventual success, but having watched Summerhill impressively defeat famed Garbally College, Ballinasloe, in a friendly before Christmas, I can vouch that they are a very talented side. This game will be eagerly awaited by all local rugby fans. Continue reading ‘Eagerly Awaited Senior Schools' Quarter Final’
Sligo Grammar School’s Senior team had a comprehensive victory over Portumna Community School in Portumna on Thursday last in the Connacht Schools’ Senior Cup. In the next round they play the winners of the Summerhill College V St.Raphael’s, Loughrea game, which was scheduled to take place in Monivea on Monday last [January 14th], and the result was not available at the time of going to press. A senior cup game, played in Sligo, between Grammar and Summerhill would certainly whet the appetites of all local rugby enthusiasts and is a distinct possibility, as Summerhill will be strongly fancied to overcome Loughrea. This game is likely to take place at the end of this month.
On Thursday next, Sligo Grammar Schools’ Junior team, coached by the club’s Hon. Treasurer, Jimmy Staunton, play Marist College, Athlone in Creggs in the Connacht Schools’ Junior League final. Grammar have given a series of impressive performances in their unbeaten run all season, and the side is backboned by players from the club’s U-14 and U-15 sides. Last Thursday at the Mall they defeated Colaiste Iognaid, Galway [the Jes.] in the semi-final by 18-8, but would not have been flattered by a bigger winning margin. The Marist side is likely to be based on last season’s Buccaneers U-14 side which beat all-comers in the province by big scores, so they should be a formidable team, but the well organised Grammar boys might have a shock in store for them. The Grammar squad are wished well from everyone in the club.