Longford RFC Club News 21/12/2020   21/12/2020

By Tommy Butler Longford RFC PRO lrfconnects@gmail.com 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

The President and Board of Longford RFC would like to wish all our players, members and friends a very Merry Christmas and a Covid free 2021.  It has been a tough year for everyone especially due to us not being able to play any rugby since March.  However, the club has shown its great spirit again and again, whether it was looking after our members during lockdown, getting our €600k artificial pitch project under way despite all the Covid challenges, helping the club to raise €7500 from the IRFU raffle and much more.  We look forward to building on the great spirit of comradeship and optimism around the club into 2021 and know that after we come through the Covid challenge that we will be even stronger.

Santa comes to Longford RFC

Despite all the Covid challenges Santa surprised our mini players with a safe and socially distanced visit to the club on Sunday.  Our players were very grateful to get the chance to meet Santa this close to Christmas and no doubt told them how hard they have worked this year in keeping to all the regulations and that some of their big wishes are that they would be allowed to visit family members again and play some rugby in 2021.  Thanks to all the members of our Youth committee who set up everything to allow Santa to visit Longford RFC safely, we hope Santa brings you lots of surprises on Christmas eve night.  Remember to be as good as possible before the big day and to help your parents as much as possible.   


As 2020 draws to a close we especially remember all members and friends of the club who have passed away over the past tumultuous year.  Sincere condolences to their families and friends.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha. 

Fixtures Update

We finally have news about fixtures, draws for the U18 Cups and the Senior Men’s competitions have been made.  For the U18s, our girls were drawn away to Dundalk in the Noeleen Spain U18 Leinster Cup and our U18 boys were drawn away to New Ross in the Leinster Darcy Cup.  After consulting with clubs, the Leinster branch decided that a one off exciting Senior Men’s Champions Cup style competition will be played in place of the league. Division 1A/1B teams were placed together in groups of 4, with Longford drawn with neighbours Mullingar, Wicklow and Dublin based Seapoint.  After the pool phase finishes, the competition will move onto quarter finals etc. with the final format to be settled on.  It promises to be an exciting competition and allows competitive matches, which is something the Senior players were looking for.  As of yet no firm fixture dates have been set but dependant on government Covid regulations, it is hoped that competition will kick off towards the end of January.  As of now we do not have any update on the format of the Leinster Women’s competition but would expect it to be something similar to the Senior Men’s. 

Senior Training takes Christmas week off but will be back as usual then on Tuesdays/Friday at 7.30 (Women) and 7.45 (Men) as we build to the resumption of rugby.  Check in with your Whatsapp groups for training times over the festive period.

Great news: Underage rugby continues

Our players have continued training hard with the hope of playing competive rugby again in the New Year.  As revealed above the U18 Cup draws have been made, with draws for other age groups not far behind.  The target is get playing again towards the end of January, so make sure to keep training hard so we can hit the ground running when matches kick off again.  Check with your coaches for training arrangements over the Christmas holidays.

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.

Champions Cup

The second weekend of the Champions cup was again extremely entertaining.  Unfortunately, there were quite a few matches called off due to Covid outbreaks, which will ultimately affect qualification.  First off from an Irish point of view was Ulster, who needed a win after losing at home to Toulouse last weekend to remain in the hunt for qualification for the quarter finals.  All looked good until the final minute when they leaked a last minute try to Gloucester to lose 38-34.  That ends Ulster’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages and it is case of so near but so far, as they had opportunities to win both their matches versus Toulouse and Gloucester.  Next up was a Leinster side that were rocked by the late withdrawals of Harry Byrne and Caelan Doris.  They took on an understrength Northampton side and ultimately got the job done with a 35-19 bonus point win, to make it ten points from a possible ten and again looking like one of the favourites for the competition.  Match of the weekend was undoubtedly Clermont versus Munster, where the Red Army produced one of the great European comebacks, to turn around a 28-9 deficit on the 25th minute, to a 31-39 win at full time.  The whole squad produced some brilliant performances but two who really stood out were Josh Wycherley at loose head on this first European start and JJ Hanrahan at out-half, who produced a flawless kicking performance in kicking 24 points.  Both Leinster and Munster are now looking in strong positions to make the quarter finals.  However, like Ulster, Connacht’s interest in the knock stages is now at an end, when they went down 18-27 on Sunday to a Bristol side coached by their former Pro 14 winning coach Pat Lam and club legend John Muldoon.  The competition now takes a break until January 15th with the Pro 14 resuming on St. Stephens day with Munster taking on Leinster and Connacht taking on Ulster the following day.     

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

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

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

Hugh Connolly Centre

The Hugh Connolly Mini and Youth Centre named in memory of our great friend Hugh Connolly who passed away before his time, finally got the finishing touch it deserved this week with the addition of a board manufactured by Gary Robinson of Grey Wizard Design showing all the club members and friends that supported the project.  Plans are afoot for similar boards listing our Past Club Presidents, Captains, Hall of Fame recipients and players connected with the club who have received provincial and international representative honours.  We are looking for sponsors for the signs, which will display the sponsors details for life and are great value.  If you interested in sponsoring any of the above, please contact Tony Headon or Derick Turner.

U17s wish French player Bon Voyage

Longford U17s have bided ‘bon voyage’ to Jules Barbato, who has been training with Longford RFC from the start of the season while on a student exchange and is now heading back to France.  He returns home after making a lot of good friends in Longford RFC.

The Sin Bin

The Sin Bin Bar & Restaurant at Longford RFC is back open with Covid 19 measures in place.  It offers great social distancing in LRFCs spacious and modern clubhouse. It offers a welcoming atmosphere, great food and drink and is the perfect place for members and friends to hold functions/events with lots of free parking and is just outside Longford Town under the management of Andrew Reynolds.

There has been very positive feedback on the great food being served all in a Covid 19 compliant setting with lots of social distancing between tables.

For reservations and enquiries about functions/events, please ring Andrew on 087 3464914.
Food is served at lunchtime from 12-4 Wednesday to Sunday and dinner Friday to Sunday from 5 PM. Please like and follow the Sin Bins Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/thesinbinlongford/ for updates and specials.

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