Saturday 21 September 2019

Enniscorthy rugby teams all ready to go once again

Ross Barbour who has a new coaching role with the first team
Ross Barbour who has a new coaching role with the first team

It is an exciting time of year for all rugby players and fans in Enniscorthy. The new season is upon us and with it brings excitement and expectation of what could be for all the squads in the club.

Last year was easily the most successful in the club's 105-year history with mini rugby numbers increasing, youths boys and girls winning competitions across all age groups, youths players representing the club on South-East and Leinster representative squads, and the Senior squads bringing more silverware, with both winning the Leinster League Division 1A and the seconds winning the Provincial Towns Cup.

The summer has been a success also. Tag rugby numbers increased and the level of fun and competition was higher than ever. Behind the scenes a lot of work has gone into developing the grounds and facilities and this is something that the club prides itself on.

The supporters of the Senior teams know that a new management team has been charged with going one better than last year and securing promotion to the Ulster Bank All-Ireland League.

Local duo Ross Barbour and Greg Jacob along with Joe Bulmer have been the driving force in the club's success over the last few years. Their work has been rewarded with first team coaching roles.

Corey Carty comes in from Wexford R.F.C. to assist Mark O'Donoghue with the second squad, while Felix Byrne is head of strength and conditioning for the club.

The Senior squad start their season on Saturday, August 27, playing Bective Rangers in Ross Road and also play Wexford on Sunday, August 28, in the South East League.

This season women's rugby returns to Enniscorthy. Midway through last year a dedicated group of Under-18 players came together and worked consistently through the winter months. Their work was rewarded and they won a development competition in the Leinster League.

Using this as a springboard, it is hoped that this year will be even more successful. Women's rugby is growing rapidly in Ireland and the pathways for promotion to Leinster and Ireland squads are very open.

Our own Jamie Deacon (now playing in Blackrock) played mini rugby and tag rugby in Enniscorthy. She is now playing for both the Irish sevens and 15s teams.

The I.R.F.U. have launched 'Give It A Try', a series of nights for new girls and women to try rugby. Enniscorthy's 'Give It A Try' night is Wednesday, September 7, at 7.15 p.m.

Rugby is a great multi-fitness sport requiring speed, evasion, strength and of course ball skills. It is suited perfectly to G.A.A. players who want to play another sport through their off-season.

It would be great to see lots of new faces in the club on September 7.

Some of the youths teams are already back training in preparation for the upcoming season. Over the last few seasons Enniscorthy has had some great victories in various Leinster competitions. The Enniscorthy players also provided a backbone to the C.B.S. Schools Cup-winning side.

Games take place on Saturdays and Sundays depending on age groups and training is spread through the week. The youths section are always looking for new players and parents to get involved. Training returns on the week of September 5.

The minis return on Sunday, September 4. Minis rugby is all about getting a taste for rugby with different conditions connected to each age grade. Mainly though it is all about having fun, getting active and making friends that can last a lifetime.

In fact, many of the current Senior team started their rugby at minis level in Enniscorthy. And for the parents, there is always tea, coffee and sandwiches on offer, especially on cold mornings.

There are specific registration mornings beginning on September 21. This gives boys and girls a chance to try rugby out before joining the club.

All they need on September 4 is a gumshield and sports clothes and they are good to go.

Wexford People

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