Clontarf Women's Rugby kicked off their training for the 2015/2016 season with special appearances from guest coaches Fiona Coghlan and Jeannette Feighery who put them through their tackling and passing paces.
It was a great start to the season and everyone was delighted to be back training and is excited about playing on their brand new 4G all-weather pitch. Chairman of rugby Terry Browne says of the new pitch development: "Clontarf Rugby's investment in the new facility is in direct response to the demand within our local community. The growth in women's rugby both at Clontarf and in Ireland generally has been dramatic, and we're looking forward to facilitating even more growth in the women's game with these state-of-the-art facilities."
CWR's recruitment drive continues for players of all abilities, levels of experience and ages 18+ and there is no need for prior rugby experience.
For those that were playing with the club last season, they were given a personalised six-week pre-season training schedule by their two physiotherapists Odharnait Lambe and Mark Doolan to prepare for the upcoming matches but many of their new recruits will be far from fit or experienced when they start.
However, head coach Ralph Mills says that: "The last 18 months at Clontarf have been a rollercoaster. We have gone from no registered women players to nearly 50, the vast majority of them completely new to the game. We've been drinking from the fire hose to some extent and learning on our feet in a development league much more competitive than any of us had imagined. But the hard work, enthusiasm and good humour of the players has carried us through."
There is a strong social aspect to the team and while the club took an official break over the summer, there were plenty of player-led activities.
Members of the team regularly met up for the St Anne's, Poppintree and Malahide Park Runs and took part in the Darkness Into Light charity event.
There was mixed social touch rugby in the park and players, coaches and management took part in the Volkswagen IRFU Tag League hosted by the club. The annual charity tag blitz in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland raised a lot of money and was a fantastic occasion.
Clontarf Women's Rugby train Mondays and Wednesdays from 7pm in Castle Avenue. For more information check out their Facebook (Clontarf Women's Rugby) and Twitter pages (@tarfwomensrugby), email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01-8336214.