Sunday 4 December 2016

Transition blitzes to help fight drop-off

Published 07/10/2016 | 02:30

Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Alex Wootton, Darren O’Shea, Duncan Casey and Donnacha Ryan with age-grade players Eoin Clancy (Old Crescent RFC), Daniel Delaney (UL Bohemians RFC), Patrick Tuite (Garryowen FC) and Jack
Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Alex Wootton, Darren O’Shea, Duncan Casey and Donnacha Ryan with age-grade players Eoin Clancy (Old Crescent RFC), Daniel Delaney (UL Bohemians RFC), Patrick Tuite (Garryowen FC) and Jack

The Munster Rugby AGTA (Age Grade Transition to Adult) group are hosting blitz days for players aged 20 and under in Cork and Limerick tomorrow.

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The blitzes take place in Garryowen FC (12.0 - 3.30pm) and Highfield RFC (1.0 - 4.30pm) with clubs fielding 10-a-side teams for players aged 20 and under (born between July 1, 1996 and December 31, 1998).

The AGTA is a working group set up by the Rugby Committee of the Munster Branch to help players transition from age-grade structures into adult rugby. The evidence in the last few seasons has shown there is a significant drop-off within this group, which is causing major pressure on the ability of clubs to field teams at a number of levels.

The objective of this group is to retain the maximum number players as possible in the game from the age-group that exits the U-18 Clubs and Senior Schools competitions. The AGTA group will formulate and recommend strategies to improve participation and retention of players with the blitzes the first in a number of initiatives.

The AGTA contact for the Garryowen blitz is Dermot Kelly on 087 2831326 or kellydermot@hotmail.co.uk.

The AGTA contact for the Highfield blitz is Holger Ertz, on 087 7970555 or holgerertz@gmail.com.

Minis' day to savour

Over 1,500 Mini rugby players from around Munster attended last weekend's 49-5 win over Zebre at Thomond Park.

Sixteen clubs took up the offer of free tickets for their mini section and came out in force to cheer Munster to the bonus-point victory.

Some of the lucky youngsters even had the opportunity to play on the hallowed turf with Dungarvan RFC, Iveragh Eagles RFC, Kilrush RFC and Waterford City RFC competing in the half-time Mini game.

Six sides also participated in a blitz on the Thomond Park back pitch before kick-off with two teams from Mallow RFC and one each from UL Bohemians RFC, Thomond RFC, Ballina/Killaloe RFC and Kilrush RFC in action.

After the blitz, players from a number of the clubs were flag bearers for the Pro12 game, lining the pitch along the West Terrace side of the ground and adding to the pre-match build-up.

The ticket giveaway was part of an initiative to celebrate the opening of the MRSC Junior Club, in association with Inver, earlier this week with membership now free of charge. Check out www.mrsc.ie for full details.

Clubs and schools that participated in the ticket giveaway: Shannon, Ballina Killaloe, St Mary's, Galbally, St Munchin's College, Muskerry, Mallow, Youghal, Castletroy College, Young Munster, Nenagh Ormond, Kanturk, Old Crescent , Waterford City, Mallow, St Senan's.

Irish Independent

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