Longford RFC Club News 23/11/2020   01/12/2020

By Tommy Butler Longford RFC PRO lrfconnects@gmail.com 

Senior Rugby Match/Training Update

We finally have some good news, with the relaxing of restrictions Senior Rugby training can resume this week albeit with extra restrictions and Covid safety measures.  We look forward to seeing all our Senior players back on the pitch tomorrow night at 7.45pm.  As of the moment no fixtures have been confirmed, however the IRFU stated last week that no competitive rugby will start before January 9th.  The Leinster branch are very keen to get rugby going again as outlined below but teams will need 2-3 weeks of contact training first.  How this all ties in with Level 3 restrictions should be revealed this week and we will hopefully have a more detailed update next week.

In an update published at the start of November, the Leinster branch emphasised that they are ready and willing to restart competitions in abbreviated forms as soon as the regulations allowed.  They specifically acknowledged the positive affect on mental health that sport has and in that light, want to maximise games for the rest of the season.  If the Leinster League resumes it will be in an abbreviated format, with the aim of all sides playing each other once, rather than home and away.  Unfortunately, in this format there will be no promotion/relegation.  A Champion’s League style Cup competition is also being muted.  Fingers crossed there is still lots of rugby to play and we will see our first Senior games on our new 3G pitch not long after it opens!


Ireland struggled to an uninspiring 23-10 win v Georgia in their final group game of the Autumn Nations Cup on Sunday.  All Irish fans were hoping for an emphatic looking victory with set piece solidity following wobbles in the line out and scrum in their las big matches versus France and England.  Ultimately, the performance did really fulfil and pre-game aspirations, although the lineout was a lot better with the returning Ian Henderson playing his part in a much more solid showing.  The scrum creeked all day and it still is a bit mystifying why the Irish management did not call up and play a specialist loosehead instead of a former loose head who has played tight head for the last three years in Finlay Bealham.  Ireland were also the first team that the Georgians have caused a degree of difficulty to at scrum time during this Autumn window.  However, take nothing away from the Georgians who fought for every inch, made the break down a mess and scored a brilliant try of their own, their first in three matches.  Like most Irish fans when playing opposition like Georgia you would hope that Ireland can raise their game above the visitor’s scrappy tactics, play some good rugby and run in some tries.  The first half showed some signs of light with a varied passing and kicking game with the Billy Burns try after a nice no look pass from Chris Farrell being the highlight.  The second half offered the opportunity to kick on but just got slower and grimer.  Ireland had a few disallowed tries and were held up on the line a few times, but the glass is definitely feeling half empty at this point.  The feeling from this Autumn window well definitely now be predicated on how Ireland perform and what result they get in the third placed play off versus Scotland in Landsdowne Road next Saturday at 1.30.

Leinster versus the Scarlets was called off due to some Covid cases in the Scarlets squad.  The Pro 14 now takes a break until St. Stephens day with Leinster starting their Champions Cup campaign away to Montpellier on Saturday December 12th.

Leinster Pro-14 Fixtures
Munster v Leinster, Saturday, December 26th, Thomond Park, 7.35pm 

Leinster v Connacht, Saturday, January 2nd, RDS, 7.35pm

Champions Cup

Montpellier v Leinster, December 12th, GGL (Altrad) Stadium, 6.30pm

Leinster v Northampton, December 19th, RDS, 1.00pm

Northampton v Leinster, January 15th, Franklins Gardens, 5.30pm

Leinster v Montpellier, January 22nd, RDS, 5.30pm

Ireland Autumn Nations Cup Fixtures

Saturday December 5th Scotland TBC Aviva Stadium Dublin, 2.15pm

Longford U18s hard at work at training

Great news: Underage rugby continues

One of the few rays of light during the Level 5 restrictions was that training continued for all underage teams.  Thanks to the dedication to all our Officers, Coaches and Parents for keeping the show safely on the road.  Obviously with restrictions starting to relax training can continue.  However, at the moment there is no news on when matches might restart.  For the moment our players will keep working on their skills and fitness and look forward to taking the pitch again soon.   

Minis (Boys/Girls)

U6-U12 Sundays 10.30am-12.00pm.


U13 Wednesday 7.00-8.30pm (born 2008)
U14 Thursday 7.00-8.30pm (born 2007)
U15 Mon 7.00-8.30pm and Thursday 7.00-8.30pm (born 2006)
U16 Tuesday 7.30-9.00pm (born 2005)
U17 Wednesday 7.30-9.00pm (born 2004)
U18 Wednesday 7.30-9.00pm (born 2003 & up to 01/07/2002)

U12&U14 Thursday 7.30-8.30pm
U16&U18 Wednesday 7.30-9.00pm

Contact 0862526741 for more information.
Longford Rugby Club is a 'Minimum20' club. Youth teams up to U15 promote minimum 20 minutes game time for all players on match day squads. Longford Minis rugby promotes equal game time at all times during games or blitz events.

New 3G Pitch Progress Update

Despite all the bad weather there is great progress been made on our new state of the art 3G pitch with all the foundation stone now installed.  Fingers crossed all is on target for opening early in the new year, which coincides with the time of the year when an all weather pitch is most required.  Once opened cancellations due to water logged pitches will be a thing of the past.  We will keep posting weekly updates on its progress. 

The cost of project is c€600,000.  Although we have received a sizeable grant from LCDC of Longford County Council through the Leader programme, we still need to raise the balance of the funds.  Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far.  We still have some way to go, however.  If you can contribute, please contact Derick Turner on 0862559624.  An innovative scheme is available where any contributions can be spread via a lost cost monthly direct debit.

U13s Training with Ireland International

Our U13 players have been lucky to have the expert coaching of one of our former players Shane Mallon over the last few weeks.  Shane played rugby with Longford up to U15 level before departing for Cistercian College Roscrea.  We are very proud of what Shane has achieved in rugby to date where he has represented Leinster and Ireland at U18 level.  U13s Head Coach Aoghan Clarke is sure that Shanes coaching is a huge help to the U13s and shows that anything is possible with effort and determination.  We wish Shane the best with his career and we all will be keeping an eye on his future progress.  You can see some of the highlights of Shanes recent rugby at https://youtu.be/N9gTuylm0uQ

Your Club Your Country Draw

Please support Longford RFC by buying a ticket for IRFU YCYC draw with the chance to win fabulous prizes (see below). Each ticket is €10 with 100% of funds going to LRFC. Tickets are only available online this year and close this Sunday December 6th at 3PM, so get yours as soon as possible! You can buy tickets by clicking on this link; https://bit.ly/2JbExoB. Like all voluntary clubs it has been tough year as it was not possible to fund raise, we need your help to pay the running costs of the club and by buying a ticket you can do so. In exciting news, a new state of the art fully artificial rugby pitch is currently under construction at the club. We hope to see at CPL Park soon, but in the meantime we appreciate your generous support. Please encourage your friends and family also to support the draw.  

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