'Play Rugby' drive proves a hit among Leinster girls

Girl's rugby in Leinster has been growing quickly and it is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, with the numbers of girls between 13 and 19 years on the rise every year.

There are established teams from Cill Dara, Clane, Gorey, Naas, Wexford and Wicklow and, this season, new Youths teams from Arklow, Dundalk, Navan, Portlaoise, Portarlington and Navan.

Girl's rugby is a great way of keeping fit, meeting new friends and travelling to new places, with regular matches, blitzes and skills clinics going on throughout the season.

Leinster's community rugby officers (CRO) are actively coaching the new 'Play Rugby' programme in secondary schools and rugby clubs in order to increase female participation -- and it's a great way to get secondary school girls involved with rugby in a safe environment.

The programme will create a pathway to enable schools and clubs to work together in boosting female participation.

If you are interested in learning more about the programme, contact your CRO or local rugby club.

In a historic first in the Heineken Cup match between Leinster and Clermont-Auvergne tomorrow, there will be a half-time match between Portlaoise and Cill Dara girls, which will be a great chance to promote girls rugby within the province.

If you are interested in setting up age-grade girls rugby in your club, email Jennie Bagnall: jennie.bagnall @leinsterrugby.ie and Noeleen Spain: leinster_youths@yahoo.ie.