The 2005 group can look back on another great year of rugby development and success. This year we focused on encouraging quick, running rugby, using our passing and space awareness to open up opportunities. At the start of the season we occasionally let our focus on the tackle and ruck slip, but as the season progressed, our boys learned to deliver consistency in this part of their game, which combined with their rugby skills led them to enjoy a remarkable run of success, including great performances against Belvo, Wanderers and Bective, and culminating in success in the Willow Rugby Festival.
We completed our year with a fantastic tour to Biarritz with 42 boys and 43 parents. Hosted by former French rugby professional, Shaun Hegarty, we enjoyed 2 wonderful days in the heart of Basque rugby. Biarritz Olympique hosted a tournament for us on Saturday, where we played 2 of their teams along with 2 teams from neighbouring club, Anglet Olympique, all tough competition. It was a real test for our boys, and we were particularly proud to see how they performed in this cauldron of French rugby, recording some losses but mostly wins, against each of the teams we faced. Lunch and speeches in the clubhouse followed, after which we took to the beach for surf lessons.
Later on Saturday we were hosted by former French internationals Marc and Thomas Lièvremont in their bar overlooking the beach in Biarritz. We were joined for a drink by recently retired Argentinian rugby player Federico Martín Aramburú and Ireland’s own rugby legend, Mike Gibson. All told it was an extraordinary experience for everyone, boys and parents alike, and will live long in our memories.
We are now looking forward to under 13 youth rugby next year, and already have had a super response to early registrations. Roll on 2017/18.