IN REVIEW: 6/04-18/04

IN REVIEW: 6/04-18/04

From the Basement to the Penthouse!

Our congratulations to the Irish Men’s 7s squad who secured their World Series status by claiming outright victory in the World Series Sevens Qualifier tournament in Hong Kong!

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Qualifier Final, Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong 7/4/2019 Ireland vs Hong Kong Ireland players celebrate winning the final Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Yu Chun Christopher Wong

A 28-7 win over the hosts followed a tight semi-final win over Germany, means that Ireland will compete at the elite stage in 2020 having narrowly missed out last year.  

The Business of Rugby

Starting your own company can be a daunting venture, but an extremely exciting one! This was something that all of our members in attendance took from our Entrepreneurship and Networking Event that was held at the InterContinental Hotel in Dublin.

A most sincere thank you to current Irish women’s international Sene Naoupu and former players Barry O’Mahony, Darragh Fanning and VitHit founder Gary Lavin for their honest insights which were drawn out by Mick Kearney!

TYF 2.0 takes flight!

Earlier this week we were delighted to welcome Gary Shaugnessy, Chair of the Z Zurich Foundation, to Ireland. Over 7 years, the Z Zurich Foundation has committed to invest up to €4million to bring the Tackle Your Feelings campaign to life in Ireland. This is the first local grant that the Z Zurich Foundation has made in Ireland, and a first of its kind for the Foundation. 

Phase Two of Tackle Your Feelings, a mental wellbeing campaign run by Rugby Players Ireland in partnership with Zurich, will see the initiative engage with senior cycle schools and corporate programmes.

Union Cup 2019

Europe’s largest LGBT inclusive rugby tournament will take place at Dublin City University from June 7-9 later this year. In all, 45 teams from 15 countries will contest the Union Cup which was launched by our members Lindsay Peat and Gordon D’Arcy with international referee Nigel Owens.

Pictured at the launch of the Union Cup 2019 were (L-R) Gordon D’Arcy, Lindsay Peat and Nigel Owens Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Out and About

As ever, our members were busy over the past fortnight.

It was all hands on deck for Ian Nagle, Matthew Rea, Craig Gilroy, Stuart McCloskey, Kyle McCall and Will Addison at the Marie Curie Hospice in Belfast. While full of chat, there were also plenty of DIY jobs for doing at the facility!

Meanwhile, at Dogs Trust Ballymena, Northern Ireland’s only rehoming centre, John Andrew, Alan O’Connor, James Hume, Greg Jones, Tom O’Toole and Marty Moore spent at afternoon with new friends who are deserving of a great home!

In Dublin, members of the Leinster Rugby squad put their cooking skills to the test with the Dublin Cookery School in Blackrock. Some budding chefs were unearthed, while we found that others were not so adept in the kitchen!

Finally, in Limerick Sammy Arnold has been urging people to give blood, revealing that his sister receives regular donations for a rare genetic disorder.

Goodbody Bursary

Fresh from leading Railway Union into the AIL Final for the first time in the club’s history, qualified physiotherapist, medical student and Irish XVs and 7s player Claire Keohane spoke to us about how she is putting her Goodbody Rugby Players Ireland Personal Development Bursary to use!

Women’s All-Ireland League Division 1 Semi-Final, Anglesea Road, Dublin 13/4/2019 Old Belvedere vs Railway Union Railway Unions Claire Keohane attempts a conversion kick Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Comings & Goings

This time of year can often prove to be a difficult period as players and their clubs cast their eyes on the future.

Unfortunately, Munster’s Ronan O’Mahony and Connacht Rugby duo Eoin Griffin and Conor McKeon were all forced to announce their respective retirements owing to injury. Incidentally, both Griffin and McKeon were Rugby Players Ireland representatives at different stages during their careers.

Ronan, Eoin and Conor can all attest to the fact that going out on your own terms is a fate that doesn’t always befall our players. Irish and Ulster Rugby captain Rory Best acknowledged this as he announced that he will be retiring following the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year. Following 15 years years at the highest level of the game, Best has had a profound impact on the game in Ireland.

We wish all well as they seek out a new direction in their lives!

While a number of players will be departing Galway at the season’s end, several players have committed their futures to the province. Our congratulations to Tom Daly, Shane Delahunt, Stephen Fitzgerald, Angus Lloyd and Peter Robb, while Academy members Matt Burke, Conor Fitzgerald and Conor Kenny have also signed their first professional contracts.

A Fond Farewell

At the beginning of the month we said goodbye to Nancy Chillingworth. Having joined Rugby Players Ireland in January 2017, Nancy worked closely with our members in the women’s programme. We wish her well as she undertakes her new role as the Performance Manager with the Olympic Federation of Ireland.

Before she left, we grabbed a quick word!

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