Women's coaching gets major attention
Just before Christmas, almost 50 women gathered in Old Wesley RFC for an inaugural event run by Leinster Rugby.
The evening was held to launch the second section of Leinster Rugby's 'Women in Coaching' programme.
The first event was held last month in Leinster HQ at UCD and involved 22 current and ex-players who had been specifically selected to be mentored towards coaching 'performance level' teams such as Leinster U-18 girls and the senior women's team in the future.
The second-level roll-out involved a higher number of female coaches who are coaching in clubs and schools, and the objectives were clear from the outset - to improve and increase our network of female coaches, and to produce more confident and supported coaches who engage with the vast programme of coach development opportunities that Leinster Rugby offer.
The discussion and presentation was led by Derek Maybury, coach development manager for Leinster Rugby and supported by Jennie Bagnall, women's development officer and Dr Maura Coulter, ex-Irish player and current lecturer in primary physical education at DCU St Patrick's Campus.
Bagnall, whose role focuses on female rugby participation, said: "The female game is continuing to grow exponentially, yet there is a hesitancy from women to get involved in coaching the game.
"The fantastic level of interest and turnout for this coaching event highlights that there are women out there who are passionate about coaching rugby, and we need to support and promote these coaches and encourage more to step forward."
Contact Jennie.Bagnall@leinsterrugby.ie or tweet @LeinsterWDO, or @LeinsterBranch to get more information on upcoming coach development opportunities.
Cup clashes take shape
With Tullow winning a maiden Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup title in 2017, the quest to find out who would win the 2018 vintage took centre stage recently.
The 2018 Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup first-round draw took place on Saturday, December 16 at Bank of Ireland, Ballsbridge, with Leinster players Adam Byrne, Tom Daly and Peter Dooley on hand to pick the teams out of the hat.
The ties will be played on Sunday, January 21 and all games will kick off at 2.30pm.
The following teams have received byes to the second round: Ashbourne RFC, Longford RFC and Portarlington RFC.
Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup, 1st Round: Clondalkin RFC v Edenderry RFC, Midland Warriors RFC v Enniscorthy RFC, Tullamore RFC 2nd XV v Athy RFC, Cill Dara RFC v Roscrea RFC, New Ross RFC v Arklow RFC, Wicklow RFC v Mullingar RFC, Dundalk RFC v North Kildare RFC, Wexford Wanderers RFC v Balbriggan RFC, Naas RFC 2nd XV v Tullow RFC, Portlaoise RFC v Navan RFC 2nd XV, Kilkenny RFC v Boyne RFC, Skerries RFC 2nd XV v Newbridge RFC, Gorey RFC v County Carlow RFC.