Longford RFC Club News 12/10/2020   12/10/2020

By Tommy Butler Longford RFC PRO lrfconnects@gmail.com 

Leinster League Suspended until the end of October

Longford RFC Senior Men and Senior Women received the news that they were dreading on Wednesday evening when the IRFU made a decision to postpone all club activity outside of the All Ireland League series until October 28th at earliest.  Senior Men’s Head Coach Glenn Baskett share his thoughts on the same.

Longford RFC Head Coach Glenn Baskett

“Wednesday’s announcement from the IRFU was a real blow to us. We had suspicions when an email came out from Leinster Tuesday afternoon that a meeting was being held Wednesday, so I’ve gotta say it wasn’t a total surprise. But after being given exemption to play under Level 3 previously with the Dublin and Donegal lockdown and being able to train fully this was a real setback for us. But once the GAA came out Monday and suspended all club activity we kind of knew other sporting organisations would follow. While I don’t want to go into the reasoning behind the GAA decision to suspend all club activity here, I do feel it is a bit of an exercise after the horse has bolted, and it has in turn had a knock on effect now throughout sport in this country. There are now young kids in all sporting codes unable to play sport of any kind. I can only speak on behalf of the Longford Senior Men’s group and we had done everything on and off the field before and after matches to ensure we could play this season. Our trainings were in line with regulations, we arrived and left straight after trainings with no changing facilities available, there was no interest in guys hanging around. And I’m sure GAA clubs also had to train that same way, in rain and shine with no facilities to change in. But that is also another area where I can’t understand the logic of not allowing players to shower and change after games and trainings. Surely it makes more sense to allow players to wash any sweat etc off themselves than leave it on while you drive home to spread it through your house before you get into your own shower! After all aren’t we repeatedly told to wash our hands?

For us the suspension of games now has meant we are effectively 13 weeks in pre-season, with what will now be at least 3 more weeks (and I can see Level 3 being extended by possibly another 2/3 weeks) and then we would need a couple of weeks of contact training, so we are now into a 15 to 18 week pre-season. And our last pre-season game was 3 weeks ago so that would mean we are going into a league comp with no game for 5 to 8 weeks. It is far from ideal, and we now have to manage non-contact training, keep boys motivated and interested with the hope Leinster Branch can devise a restructured league that has a meaningful purpose. Because we are all competitive animals, that is why we are involved in sport, and you have to have something to work towards. To be training with no end game is extremely hard. For now we will have to re structure our trainings and manage these few weeks, and wait and see what revised season structure is proposed, from that we as a group will determine how and where we go from there.

A huge effort has gone on on the pitch so far to conclude the unfinished business we believe we have left out there with this group, so we are keen to see how we can carry that on this season. Off the pitch everyone is well aware of the massive project on the go at the moment in developing the artificial pitch which will be a brilliant addition to the club and county of Longford. So to have that state of the art pitch and no games going on would be very disappointing.

Up until this point we have trained with a large group and a good influx of younger guys from the age grades which provides that stability and sustainability for senior rugby going ahead, and we will try our best to keep momentum going ahead of a competitive restart. We have guys with a few knocks and niggles from our work to date so that does give us a chance to use this time to get those guys back out. From a coaching point of view a lot has gone into this season off the pitch and this is another situation to navigate.

I just hope that these Level 3 restrictions are short lived and that people don’t put themselves in situations where there is a risk, because ultimately the Government are acting off numbers and statistics and if those aren’t where they believe they need to be we will be stuck in limbo with this situation of not being able to play. In fact, we had only talked Tuesday night before training about managing the “risk” and making smart decisions as individuals. The risks are actually minimal of contracting anything on the pitch, it is what we do off it that is a bigger thing. None of us are perfect and this is like a flu, you can pick it up anywhere so we told the boys to think about what they do when they go back out the gate after training.”

In conclusion what shape the Leinster League will take when we get the go ahead to resume is uncertain.  Hopefully the Leinster Branch will come up with some formula to allow  competitive rugby with promotion/relegation as the last thing any club wants it another lost season.  Please monitor our notes and social media, we will bring you updates as soon as we have them.

One important thing to emphasis is that all players within the club are still allowed to train with extra precautions at the moment.

Pro 14 20-21 Roundup

With so much amateur sport currently postponed it was great to be able to watch some rugby on the TV over the weekend.  Leinster travelled to Northern Italy to play Benetton Treviso on front of 1000 supporters.  Northern Italy was one of worst hit areas in Europe during initial emergency of Covid so it was great to see some move toward normality there.  Leinster ground out a win against a good team 25-37.  However, it may have cost Andy Farrell the services of Jordan Larmour for the upcoming international window as he left the field with what looked like a serious shoulder injury.  Munster left it late again to secure a win, this time at home to Edinburgh.  Star of the show was again 21 year old out half Ben Healy who kicked 20 of Munster’s 25 points following on from his monster penalty at full time the week before versus the Scarlets to secure the win.  It is great to see some underage talent finally coming through in Munster.  Connacht went down away to Cardiff 29 7, with Ulster securing a fine 12-24 win away to the Opreys.  The only black mark was that Captain Ian Henderson received a red card for a reckless clear out at a ruck, which may affect his availability for Ireland in the upcoming Six/Eight Nations matches.  The Pro-14 takes a break this weekend with Andy Farrells new Ireland squad assembling for the resumed Six Nations which kicks off against Italy in two weeks time on October 24th.    

Round 3: Leinster Rugby v Zebre, Friday, October 23, RDS Arena – 7.35pm
Round 4: Glasgow Warriors v Leinster Rugby, Monday, November 2, Scotstoun Stadium – 8.15pm
Round 5: Ospreys v Leinster Rugby, Sunday, November 8, Liberty Stadium – 3pm
Round 6: Leinster Rugby v Edinburgh, Monday, November 16, RDS Arena – 8.15pm
Round 7: Leinster Rugby v Cardiff, Sunday, November 22, RDS Arena – 5.15pm
Round 8: Scarlets v Leinster Rugby, Sunday, November 29, Parc y Scarlets – 5.15pm

Autumn Ireland Fixtures

Saturday October 24th Italy Home 3.30 PM (Six Nations)

Saturday October 31st France Away 8 PM (Six Nations)

Friday November 13th Wales Home 7 PM (Eight Nations)

Saturday November 21st England Away 3 PM (Eight Nations)

Sunday November 29th Georgia Home 2 PM (Eight Nations)

Saturday December 5th TBC Home 2.15 PM (Eight Nations)

Senior Training

Longford Senior Men train every Tuesday and Friday night at 7.45 with extra precautions.  It is great to see so many of last year’s U18s in at training over the last few weeks along with so many of our regular players.  If you would like to play rugby, want to restart your rugby career or are new to the area you are very welcome.  Please give Director of Rugby Niall Moran 0879185073 or Head Coach Glenn Baskett 0876036175 a ring if you are interested.  Please note a Covid-19 questionnaire needs to be filled in before starting training.

Our Senior Women are also back training and are welcoming new and returning players.  If you would like to give rugby a go (you do not need to have played before or be very fit) you will be very welcome.  Training is on Tuesday and Friday nights at 7.30 PM. Please give Women’s Head Coach Nuala McGoey a ring on 0862482005.  Again Covid-19 questionnaires needs to be filled in before training.

Please note training continues during Level 3 restrictions with extra precautions.

Minis/Youths Training

All Mini/Youth rugby games have been postponed until at least October 28th due to Level 3 restrictions.  However, the good news is that we are still allowed to train with extra precautions.  We ask all our Mini/Youth players to make the right choices and adhere to public health advise, as a collective effort from all sports clubs throughout the country, is the only way we will get back playing sport.  

The work going on behind the scenes to ensure compliance with Governments Covid-19 guidelines is immense and thanks to Gerry Carthy (Mini/Youths Chairperson), Gerry Larkin (Club Covid-19 Officer) all the coaches, parents and players on making it work.  Each group has their own compliance officer.  With matches postponed we continuing to work hard on our fitness and skills.  Covid-19 questionnaires needs to be filled in before training.  We welcome new/returning players at all levels.


U7-U10 Sunday 10.30-11.30

U11 Thursday 7-8 (check with coaches for following week) (born 2010)

U12 Sunday 10.30-11.30 (born 2009)


U13 Wednesday 7.00-8.30pm (born 2008)
U14 Thursday 7.00-8.30pm (born 2007)
U15 Mon 7.00-8.30pm and Thursday 7.00-8.30pm (born 2006)
U16 Tuesday 7.30-9.00pm (born 2005)
U17 Wednesday 7.30-9.00pm (born 2004)
U18 Wednesday 7.30-9.00pm (born 2003 & up to 01/07/2002)

U12&U14 Thursday 7.30-8.30pm
U16&U18 Wednesday 7.30-9.00pm

Contact 0862526741 for more information.
Longford Rugby Club is a 'Minimum20' club. Youth teams up to U15 promote minimum 20 minutes game time for all players on match day squads. Longford Minis rugby promotes equal game time at all times during games or blitz events.

Longford RFC Mini/Youth Boot Room

As we move towards getting back out on the pitch, there are a lot of players who need bigger boots.  So instead of spending big on new ones why not use the #LongfordRFC Boot Room instead?  It is a great concept where growing members swap the boots they have outgrown for nearly new bigger ones.  They donate the ones they have outgrown back to the boot room.  It benefits everyone and is way members can support each other post Covid. 

The Boot Room Concept

How many months use do you get out of a new (and very expensive) pair of boots before your child moves up a size and a new (and equally expensive) replacement pair is required? Aimed particularly at Minis and Youths we are going to set up a “Boot Room” where you can trade your perfectly good (but outgrown) pair of boots for a larger pair.  Boots will not be for sale – the Boot Room will operate on the basis that you trade in your own pair for another pair.  In this way, the plan is that the Club will have a self-replenishing supply of boots available to anyone who has a decent (but outgrown) pair which can be traded in return.  To set up the Boot Room we are asking you, the parents, to scour your garage, utility room, footwear box, kit bag or whatever for any outgrown or unloved pairs of boots which you would be willing to donate or trade.  We would only be interested in good quality boots without rips or tears and which can be used for playing rugby (ie. no blades).  If you have any, you can bring the boots to training and give them to any of the coaches, bring them to the Minis training on Sunday, leave them at the Club for the attention of Padraig Murphy or Gerry Carthy or any or your coaches.

New 4G Pitch Progress Update

Some much needed good news for the club and county during these trying times is that great progress is being made on our new our new state of the art 4G artificial pitch.  All top soil has been stripped with foundation works kicking off soon.  All things being equal,it will be ready for training and fingers crossed matches in December.  We will post regular updates on its progress. 

The cost of project is c€500,000.  Although we have received a sizeable grant from LCDC of Longford County Council through the Leader programme, we still need to raise the balance of the funds.  Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far.  We still have some way to go, however.  If you can contribute, please contact Derick Turner on 0862559624.  An innovative scheme is available where any contributions can be spread via a lost cost monthly direct debit.

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.

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