Leinster Club News: Leinster's women gear up for interpro defence
Having won the Interprovincial Series last year, Leinster Women, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, have announced a training squad ahead of this year's series and coaches Ken Knaggs and Adam Griggs have gone with a mix of established players and an injection of new blood.
Games are on the weekends of December 2, 9 and 16.
Leinster Women's Training Squad: (forwards) C Claassen (Navan), C Cooney (Railway Union), L Dempsey (Rathdrum), L Djougang (Old Belvedere), J Finlay (Old Belvedere), P Fitzpatrick (St Mary's), O Fitzsimons (St Mary's), C Haney (St Mary's), O Hayes (Old Belvedere), R Horan (CYM), A McDermott (Railway Union), C Molloy (Gorey), C Moloney (Railway Union), F O'Brien (Old Belvedere), R O'Driscoll (Suttonians), L Peat (Railway Union), L Retig (Suttonians), J Short (Railway Union), S Spence (Old Belvedere), (backs) E Chamberline (Garda/Westmanstown), M Claffey (Blackrock), A Clarke (Railway Union), E Corri (Blackrock), A Donnelly (Old Belvedere), N Griffin (Blackrock), A Hughes (Railway Union), Maria Kenny (Old Belvedere), Megan Kenny (Railway Union), C McDonnell (Garda/Westmanstown), J Murphy (Old Belvedere), E O'Byrne Whyte (Old Belvedere), H O'Connor (Blackrock), M Williams (Old Belvedere), M Young (IT Carlow/Carlow Coyotes)
Michael is at heart of Naas
Michael Cahill has been club community rugby officer (CCRO) of Leinster Rugby in Naas RFC for the past four years and involved with the club for the past 30 years.
As part of his role, Michael not only works within the club, coaching and promoting rugby, but works with 16 national and seven secondary schools in the area, supporting the programmes run by Kildare County Council.
Michael tells us about his typical day as CCRO: "I go to the schools; seeing the enjoyment on the kids' faces and the different abilities and the improvement in skills across the board.
"Then I go back to the club for more support in coaching with the U-7s right up to the U-17 groups. No two days are ever the same in this role."
Michael has a great love for the game and for his current role.
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"I'm coaching because I love the game and enjoy giving back to the community in a positive way and passing on my passion and knowledge to kids and players," he said.
Seeing three girls who had never picked up a rugby ball until two years ago and now making the U-18 Leinster interprovincial side is definitely a bonus to the role."
Michael says the best part of his job is meeting and working with a variety of people of all ages from all walks of life, and ensuring that rugby in Naas RFC is open to all.
Focus on wellbeing
No community, sport, workplace or family has been spared from the clutches of mental health problems.
Wexford Wanderers RFC are like every other club in Ireland, made up of a wide demographic; young and old, new and established players and members.
The rugby club is a place to play, train and socialise, it is a community.
While Wanderers may share a healthy rivalry on the field with the three other rugby clubs in Wexford - New Ross, Enniscorthy and Gorey - off the field they share strong bonds that are long-standing.
Wexford Wanderers are looking to utilise this relationship with their good neighbours by starting an initiative in the rugby community of Wexford.
Wanderers have invited ASK, a mental health awareness campaign established by Frank Staples (mayor of Wexford 2016/17 and current Wexford councillor), to bring their message into the four clubs and rugby community.
The first strand of the ASK campaign encourages people in difficulty to take off their figurative 'masks' and 'ask' for help.
Unlike many other campaigns, the second strand of the 'ask' campaign encourages everybody to be mindful of those around them that may be struggling with their mental wellbeing by asking, 'are you OK?'.
ASK held the first of their awareness presentation in Wexford Wanderers RFC clubhouse last week and will follow on to Gorey RFC, New Ross RFC and Enniscorthy RFC over the coming weeks.
All club members are encouraged to attend and to listen to the message and advice offered by ASK.
Wexford Wanderers will then be embarking on a three-day, 92km scrum push around the four rugby grounds of the county in a bid to highlight the initiative and to draw support for the stance the four rugby clubs are taking on mental health.
For more information on these events, please visit the Wexford Wanderers RFC website and visit New Ross RFC, Gorey RFC or Enniscorthy RFC social media platforms.
One of Leinster Rugby's charity partners this season is mental health charity Aware. For more information on Aware and the work that they do, please visit aware.ie.