Longford RFC News 20/07/2020   20/07/2020

Longford RFC Club News 20/07/2020

By Tommy Butler Longford RFC PRO lrfconnects@gmail.com 

Rugby is back

Last week marked a significant step forward as regards returning to playing rugby with non-contact Senior Men’s training resuming.  At this stage it is all about fitness work and laying a foundation for the upcoming season.  Training continues on Tuesday and Friday nights at 7.45 pm.  All players are requested to commit to the training as it is really important to build fitness now so that we can play the brand of rugby that we want come September.  New players, players who have not played for a while and any players from last year’s U18s are also very welcome.  For any playing enquiries please give Director of Rugby Niall Moran a ring on 0879185073 or Men’s Head Coach Glenn Baskett 0866036175.

For Senior Women’s Enquiries, please ring Women’s Head Coach Nuala McGoey a ring 0862482005.

As regards fixtures there is nothing set in stone yet but it looks like our first Midland League fixture will be in the first weekend of September with the Leinster League kicking off on September 27th.

Division 1B will consist of Longford, Mullingar, Tullow, Wicklow, Boyne, Carlow, Clondalkin and Cill Dara.  The challenge will be tough but everyone will be going out all guns blazing to see if we propel ourselves right to the top of the standing this year.  Our neighbours Mullingar were promoted last season, so it will be great to have two local derbies on this years fixture list.

As previously confirmed Glenn Baskett is staying on as Senior Men’s Head Coach with Niall Moran as Director of Rugby.  Benny McManus is staying on for a second season as Captain ably supported by Barry Stewart as Vice-Captain and 2nds Leinster League Winning Captain is back leading the 2nd XV.  The motivation for this season is very much based on frustration of a job left undone from the season past, where a charge for second place and a promotion play-off was cruelly ended by the Covid-19 pandemic.  

On the coaching front we would like to congratulate Kolo Kiripati who leaves Longford to take on the Head Coach role in Buccaneers and Ciaran Sloyn who will take on the Head Coach role with Midland Warriors.  A lot of work is going on behind the scenes to add to the coaching team for the upcoming season with announcements taking place in the next few weeks.

Mini/Youth Rugby

We have got the go ahead from the Leinster Branch to resume training.  Training will be coming back on a phased basis.  Coaches will be contacting their players to let them know.  All will be following Covid-19 protocols and have appropriate measures in place.

The first team back training will be the U15s (Born in 2006) who will commence non-contact training on Tuesday at 7 PM.  There are forms etc. to be filled out before training so please contact Freddie beforehand (0861727145).  New players are very much welcome.  

Training for other teams will be announced by coaches and published on Facebook/the club website over the next few weeks/months.

In other news Kevin McDonagh/Sam Burgess who have been selected for the Leinster U18 squad are now back in training.  They have also been working hard over the lock down period to keep in shape.  The best of luck lads!

AGM of Longford RFC

A well attended AGM took place last Tuesday in the club house.  In a new innovation many members attended via Zoom.  A new officer board for a two year term were elected.  Damian Curley is the new Club President; we all wish him the best of luck with Donagh McDonnell the incoming Vice-President.  Michael Connellan as Chair of Board, David Bird as Honorary Secretary, Niall Moran as Head of Rugby along with Gerry Larkin as Head of Administration have all kindly decided to stay on in their roles.  Gavin Belton will be stepping down as Head of Finance after many years of good work with his replacement being announced in the coming weeks.  There were no motions submitted at this years AGM.

Everyone in the club wishes the new board the best of luck.

Sin Bin Event Centre

The Sin Bin Bar & Restaurant at Longford RFC is one of the best club house facilities in the country.

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.

As of July 2020, it is now under the management of Andrew Reynolds who is a very experienced operator in the food/beverage area.

For reservations and enquiries about functions/events, please ring Andrew on 087 1631075.
Food is served at lunchtime from 12-4 Wednesday to Sunday and Dinner Friday to Sunday from 5 PM.

We would ask all members and friends of the club to support Andrew and his staff and help make Andrews tenure an outstanding success.

Please like and follow the Sin Bins Facebook Page for updates and specials; https://www.facebook.com/thesinbinlongford/  

New 4G Artificial Match Pitch

The good news is that we are aiming to turn the sod on our new 4G Full size community pitch in August. Although we have been approved for a substantial grant for the pitch from the Longford Community Development Committee (LCDC) under the Rural Development Programme (Leader) 2014-2020 implemented by Longford Community Resources (LCRL), all funding outside this needs to be in place before the project begins.

At the moment we are not quite there and need support from members and friends in Ireland and abroad.  There are a number of easy ways to commit to supporting the pitch, with your contribution ensuring your legacy as part of the club’s future.  If you would like to make a contribution or help in the fundraising please phone Derick Turner on 0862559624.

The pitch when finished, will be one of the only fully flood light 4G artificial pitches suitable for contact sports outside Dublin and will be available for use by the whole community. It will allow year round sport to be played in the heart of Longford Town in anything but the most extreme weather and will mark a huge investment in County Longford and surrounding counties.

Volunteers/Players for the coming season

Longford Rugby Club is a progressive club that fields Men’s/Women’s teams at Senior Level and has more than 400 Mini/Youth Players training every week both male and female from U6 right through to U18. We are looking for more players, coaches and volunteers at all levels of the club. If you would like to join Longford Rugby Club at this exciting time, please contact any club coach or volunteer.

Live Rugby

At the moment the November International schedule and the conclusion of the Six Nations are still up in the air.  Ireland will definitely be playing France away and Italy at home in their two remaining Six Nations games.  The Southern Hemisphere sides will not be travelling due to Covid and will instead be playing out a Rugby Championship hosted by New Zealand.  It is rumoured that World Rugby are going to announce a 8 team tournament in November with the Six Nations sides being split into two groups of 3 along with Georgia and Fiji/Japan with the winners of each group playing in a final.

Super Rugby continues in New Zealand/Australia, with some stand out games coming out of the Super Rugby Aotearoa tournament.

Provisional Pro-14 and European Champions Cup Fixtures

August 22nd: Leinster v Munster, Ospreys v Dragons, Connacht v Ulster, Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors, Zebre v Treviso, Southern Kings v Cheetahs, Scarlets v Cardiff Blues.

August 29th: Ulster v Leinster, Cardiff Blues v Ospreys, Dragons v Scarlets, Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh, Benetton v Zebre, Cheetahs v Southern Kings, Munster v Connacht.

September 5th (Pro-14 Semi-Finals): Winner Conference A v Runner-up Conference B, Winner Conference B v Runner-up Conference A.

September 12th: Pro 14 Final.

September 19th: European Cup Quarter Finals; Leinster v Saracens (3 PM), Clermont Auvergne v Racing 92 (6.30 PM)

September 20th: European Cup Quarter Finals; Toulouse v Ulster (1.30 PM), Exeter v Northampton (5.30 PM)

PRO14 Final.

September 26th/27th: European Semi-finals.

October 17th: European Champions Cup Final

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