Sunday 25 February 2018

Leinster Club News: Carlow to have another lady as club president

Junior president-elect Edel Gibbons with Justin Hannon
Junior president-elect Edel Gibbons with Justin Hannon Sportsdesk

For the second time in its almost 150-year history Carlow Rugby Club is to have a lady at the helm as club president.

At this week's AGM, executive member Edel Gibbons was nominated as junior president- elect, putting her in line to take over as president two years from now.

In recent years Gibbons has chaired the club's social committee and managed the two highly successful club gala events, which saw celebrities such as Joe Schmidt and Johnny Sexton coming to Carlow.

In taking up the presidency, Gibbons is following a path pioneered a decade ago by Maureen Gordon from Rutland.

At this week's AGM outgoing president Justin Hannon handed over the reins of office to Ian Dwyer for the 2017-18 season. Michael Carbery becomes the new president elect, followed in turn by Gibbons.

Also at this week's AGM a new club coaching team was announced.

They are Steve Ashmore and Steve Gray, coaches in Kilkenny College and previously with Kilkenny Rugby Club.

Ashmore also played rugby for Carlow as did his father Brian. At the AGM director of rugby Carbery paid a particular tribute to retiring club coach Padraig Brennan.

Some weeks ago Brennan informed the club management of his wish to retire from his coaching post which he carried out for the past four and a half seasons. Carbery told the AGM that Brennan had stepped into to help the club at a time when it was at a low ebb both financially and rugby-wise.

Since then Carlow Rugby has turned the corner, club morale has recovered - and Brennan was the major driver of this turnaround.

Players at the Terenure 13s
Players at the Terenure 13s

During Ashmore's time with Kilkenny, he helped guide the club from Division 2a to 1a of the Leinster League and led them to two Towns Cup finals.

Leinster School of Excellence off to USA

Leinster Rugby are returning to Boston this summer for the second instalment of the School of Excellence USA.

Building on the huge success of 2016 edition, and in conjunction with Boston Rugby Club, elite coaches from the province are returning to run a four-day programme Stateside along with a coaches' seminar to aid in the development of rugby in Massachusetts and the surrounding areas.

The programme will be based on the hugely successful School of Excellence which runs over four weeks in Kings Hospital every summer and has been a staple in player development for players both inside the province and across the world for nearly 20 years.

These programmes are tailored to address the needs of the young player at each stage of development with an emphasis on learning through the game and challenging understanding in a range of situations.

The players will undertake two sessions daily across a range of aptitudes including game understanding, continuity in contact, evasion, decision making, and physical literacy.

Programme co-ordinator Sean Treacy said: "Last year was our first year and we were overwhelmed by the response of the players, we had great numbers attend and they were blown away by the chance to work with Leinster coaches.

"This year we hope to continue and further develop rugby in the area by running a coaches seminar to show volunteers how to coach the Leinster Way."

This year's programme runs from Monday, June 26 to Thursday, June 29.

For anyone interested in signing up for this programme or for further details on it please contact Sean Treacy on

Terenure 13s a triumph

The 2017 Terenure 13s European Youth Rugby Festival was another great success.

Sixteen teams from Ireland, England, Wales, Belgium and France participated in over 60 games.

All games were played in tremendous spirit, well supported by travelling families and locals.

In the final, Amersham and Chiltern edged Canet St Marie 7-5.

In the exhibition match the Irish Barbarians edged their European counterparts in the Dave Sweeney trophy.

Amazons hit Poland

The Arklow Ladies (Amazons) are heading to Poland as part of this year's Polska Éire Festival.

The ladies will take on 'The Devils' (Diablice) from Ruda Slaska tomorrow in a game of historical importance, as it will be the first 15-a-side female rugby game to take place in Poland.

Organisers drew on the success of last year's friendly between Arka Gdynia and Leinster Rugby, part of Polska Éire Festival 2016.

The game - part of the Festival grand opening -is set to attract large crowds and local media will broadcast it to thousands of homes.

Irish Independent

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