Buccaneers RFC hosted its annual schools rugby blitz for children from fourth, fifth and sixth classes earlier this month.
Now in its fifth year, the blitz saw 150 boys and girls from national schools in Ballybay, Coosan, Tubberclare and Cornafulla participate as many of the youngsters got their first taste of rugby.
The pupils had been training hard with Charlie Couper in the weeks leading up to the event and were eager to display their rugby skills.
The schools involved already have a strong rugby tradition with numerous players progressing from this initiative to the youth and mini teams in Buccaneers.
Coosan is Robbie Henshaw’s former school while Jack Carty and his younger brother Luke, who was recently called up to the Ireland U20 World Championship squad, are both former pupils of Ballybay NS.
Charlie Couper was delighted with how the day went and with the excellent skills on show.
“For a lot of the players this is their first time playing real rugby so we concentrate on the basic skills of tackling, passing and evasion in training in the build-up,” said Couper.
“It is hard to believe so many players only started playing two months ago, the talent on show every year is great to see.”
At the end of the day, attention was already turning to the start of another rugby season with many players eager to join their local club.
A massive thank you goes out to Buccaneers RFC for the use of their facilities as well as the continued support of local schools in growing rugby in the area.
For more details on Connacht Rugby’s Club and Community Department, please email [email protected].
See a selection of photos from the day below.