Longford RFC Club News 03/05/2021   03/05/2021

By Tommy Butler Longford RFC PRO lrfconnects@gmail.com 

Longford RFC Virtual 5 KM Run/Walk

Thanks to everyone who took part in our virtual 5KM walk/run over the Bank Holiday weekend.  A special thanks to everyone who made a donation/sponsored the event, which raised well over €3000 for the club.  The event was organised by outgoing Club Captain Benny McManus and had strong support from the Senior Men’s team.  As the season that was not, winds down, we all hope that rugby will be back come August with a Division 1B Cup competition to ease us back into competitive rugby.  You see the final figure and donate at: https://gofund.me/262f2d1c

Matching Grant from Intel

The club received the great news that we are to receive a grant from Intel over the coming weeks as part of their matching grant programme.  Thanks to Club Secretary David Bird for securing the grant.

Senior Men’s Head Coach looks Back and Forward

Unfortunately, after this week’s announcement from the Government on the lifting of restrictions we still have lost the 2020/21 season. And as of this minute we still have no indication of resuming contact training, but as games are allowed to commence in June, we would have to assume contact training can resume in May. That is a positive for all age grade sport, and long overdue for them.

From our senior side we had already put a line through this season several months ago and started to look ahead to getting back to a full season later in the year.

We would normally be starting back in the end/mid July, but that will depend on a draft season plan from the IRFU and Leinster. So we are waiting again.

I’d like to thank club captains Benny McManus, Phil Dardis and vice-captain Barry Stewart for the job they did this last season in leading the group in difficult circumstances. We had asked them to go 2 years in a row in the captain’s job, not something the club normally does. But as a group we felt there was unfinished business after being stopped in the 19/20 season on the brink of achieving the promotion playoffs again, so the boys backed up for this season. They did a top job over the 2 years and have continued to show themselves to be leaders on and off the pitch.

We are looking forward to announcing next seasons captains ahead of the 21/22 season, I know they are great team men and will only add to the group and what has gone before.

The club’s pitch development has restarted after Covid restrictions stopped work, and with that due to be finished in the summer we have that top class facility to look to training and playing on.

There are positives there for us all but like everyone would like normality to return sooner rather than later.

Mini/Youths Rugby Training is Back!

What a week it was back on the rugby pitch.  We had well over 200 players from U6 to U18 back out on the pitch.  The enthusiasm to play was incredible.  Thanks to our coaches and volunteers who made returning to play in a Covid safe environment possible.  Training will continue over the Summer.  Any changes to playing times etc. will be notified via you age groups Whatapp group and via Facebook/Twitter.   You can view a slection of photos of underage return to training by clicking here

Training Schedule

U6-U12 Sunday 10.30-11.45

U11 Thursday 7-8

U14-U18 Girls Tuesday 7.30-8.30

U13 Boys Wednesday 7-8.30 Sunday 12-1.30

U14 Boys Thursday 6.30-8

U15 Boys Monday & Thursday 7-8.30

U16 Boys Thursday 7.30-9

U16-U18 Girls Wednesday 7.30-9

U17 Boys Wednesday 7.30-8.45

U18 Boys Wednesday 7.30-9 

Leinster Summer Camp

A great highlight of the Summer at the club is the Leinster Rugby Camps for 6-12 year olds, where they can learn to play rugby the Leinster way in a fun environment.  The camps have sold out in practically every other venue in Leinster.  Luckily, there are a few places still left in the Longford Camp, which takes place from July 12th-16th, so log on at the link below and grab your place before they are all gone! https://www.leinsterrugby.ie/tickets/summer-camps/ 

IRFU Return to Play Road Map

The IRFU published a return to playing rugby road map for the coming 21-22 season, which can be found below.  The aim is to get back playing rugby from August. 

Rugby Digest

It was a weekend to forget for the Irish Provinces where both Ulster/Leinster got out muscled after good starts and knocked out at the Semi-Final stage of the Challenge/Champions Cup.  The Ronan O’Gara coached La Rochelle made Leinster look very ordinary and deserved their win, while Ulster owned the first half versus Leicester but had no answer for Leicester’s second half come back.  Leinster will be looking on in envy as Toulouse attempt to become the first team to win the European Cup for the fifth time, which would overtake Leinster’s four.

The season is not quite finished with the Rainbow Cup continuing until the end of May.  Connacht welcome Leinster while Munster welcome Ulster this weekend in the competition.

Finally, the planned Ireland tour to Fiji has been cancelled after a Covid outbreak on the Pacific Islands.  The IRFU/Andy Farrell are presently looking at other plans.  A tour minus the Lions players two years out from the World Cup is very important to blood new talent and for players outside the front liners to get some game time.

Warren Gatland will announce his Lions Touring squad for the trip to South Africa this week with up to 10 Irish players in with a shout of selection. 

Work on state of the art 3G Pitch resumes

Construction work on our brand new state of the art fully artificial 3G pitch recommenced last week after the Covid shut down.  This pitch will allow year round sport to be played on a surface comparable to Munster’s Musgrave Park.  One thing the Covid crisis has thought us is that it is difficult to make absolute promises in terms of dates.  However, all things being equal we should be training and playing on the pitch well in time for pre-season!  It’s an exciting time for the club and for this reason we ask all our members and friends to take part in the virtual 5k and raise as much funds as possible, so that we have the funds to get back playing rugby as soon as it is possible.


So, with Leinster exiting the Heineken Cup that is where I sign off for the season, which has been among the most difficult ever encountered for the sports clubs throughout the country.  Fingers crossed when we start back again, the notes will be filled again with rugby match reports.  Have a great Summer and keep safe.  Updates will continue on www.longfordrugby.com and on Facebook and Twitter pages.  If you want to contribute articles or pictures or have any questions, please email lrfconnects@gmail.com.

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