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Wednesday 3 September 2014

Railway credit 'one club' ethos for 14 trophies in two years

Published 06/06/2014 | 02:30

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The Railway Union J2'S players celebrate with the Paul Cusack Plate after an incredible season of success for the club
The Railway Union J2'S players celebrate with the Paul Cusack Plate after an incredible season of success for the club

There were big celebrations at Railway Union's annual ball earlier this month when 170 people gathered in the Davenport Hotel to cap a fantastic season.

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Railway have won an amazing 14 trophies in two seasons, 10 of them Leinster Pennants. Every single team in the club has won at least one trophy.

"It's a record we're very proud of," said outgoing president Francis Roche, "Every team – the men's 1sts, 2nds, 3rds, 4ths and U-20s, the women's 1sts and 2nds, and the girls' U-18s – have won their leagues, cups or both in the last two seasons.

"One of our core values is that all players in Railway are equal, regardless of which team they play on, their ability, their background or their gender. There is no 'hierarchy', all teams and players mix together freely, and all teams get equal support from the club to achieve their goals."

It's been a remarkable turnaround for the Sandymount club, who now boast seven senior sides, an age-grade set-up, a match-standard floodlit pitch, Leinster inter-provincials and Irish internationals, a pioneering Schools 7s series, and a vibrant club scene.

"Our director of rugby, John Cronin, has been instrumental in the turnaround," said Roche.

"He came in, set the vision for club and went about developing the players, coaches and management teams to achieve that vision.

"He has installed a culture of success and belief across the whole club that we just didn't have previously and that's been reflected in these club-wide results.

"It's not just about winning either – due to our 'one-club' philosophy, we've a very vibrant social scene.

"We tour as a club, be it overseas or our annual trip to the Kinsale 7s, and there is generally an organised social event at least every month, in addition to the usual ad hoc nights out."

Roche said the club are continuing to develop.

"Our Player Welfare focus, led by Leinster team doctor Professor John Ryan, is second to none. We spend a huge amount of time working on the well-being, physical development and functional fitness of our players.

"We're moving that on a level now and are in the process of building a state-of-the-art rugby-specific gym and medical room.

"This will allow our players to become fitter, stronger and faster athletes and, therefore, better rugby players."

Anyone looking to get involved next season can drop a line to:

Men's & U-20s: directorofrugby @railwayunionrfc.com

Women's: womensrugby @railwayunionrfc.com

Girls U-18/U-15s: girlsrugby @railwayunionrfc.com

or see www.railwayunionrfc.com

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