THE community rugby programme run by Leinster Rugby was evident in the New Ross area both before and after Christmas. First up, they had two all-girls schools playing their first ever game of 15-a-side rugby; St Mary's were the winners on the day, narrowly defeating Holy Faith.
Both schools would not have come into contact with the sport if it was not for the efforts of Nick Murphy, the CCRO for the area.
The introduction of the game cannot be overestimated from the point of view that in New Ross rugby club the ladies team are playing AIL and competing at a really high level.
To continue at this level there would have to be new players coming through. As a result, there is now a girls and ladies structure set-up in the club and this means the continuation of the first team in AIL.
Other successes of the Leinster-run schools programme were also evident in the first week in January with a number of players who came through the system now playing at a very high level, with some playing for Leinster and Ireland like Tadhg Furlong and Robert Vallejo.
Vallejo was a student of Good Counsel College, traditionally a GAA school. He had never played rugby until the CCRO approached him and asked him to try it in the school.
He loved it and is now playing for Leinster and Ireland at underage level and hopefully will play senior pro too!