Longford RFC Club News 19/10/2020   19/10/2020

By Tommy Butler Longford RFC PRO lrfconnects@gmail.com 

Uncertainly remains

Unfortunately, it does not look like club rugby will be resuming any time soon as the All Ireland League (AIL) reconstituted as the Energia Community Series due to Covid has also was also put on hold until further notice during the week.  The Leinster Branch understands the frustration at club level and how keen all players are to have a meaningful competition with promotion and relegation.  At this stage all options are still on the table but obviously the longer the restrictions go on, the less the available options.  One thing for sure is that countless peer reviewed studies have shown the positive affect that participating in sport has on Mental Health.  Undoubtedly a subject which has been lost in the focus on case numbers etc. is the huge negative effect the restrictions and lock downs are having on the country’s mental health, especially that of our youth.  From a purely mental health point of view I hope that this is taken into account as a future with little or no sport is a very negative one for everyone’s health.  The one small light at the end of tunnel is that it looks like international/provincial rugby will be allowed to go on.  The teams are operating in bubbles with very regular Covid testing, which means they are highly unlikely to be the source of any outbreak.  They are also professional players who do not have other day jobs to attend.  At least the ability to view international rugby over the next six weeks is a great tonic to cheer up the population!

Ireland/Pro 14 20-21 Roundup

The 2020 Six Nations resumes this weekend when Ireland take on Italy at home in Landsdowne Road.  Andy Farrell named his squad during the week but has some notable absentees due to injury/suspension to contend with.  The front row looks quite depleted with Tadhg Furlong still out having not featured this season along with Dave Kilcoyne who was injured when Leinster took on Munster in the Pro-14 semi-final.  Jordan Larmour is another casualty after dislocating his shoulder in Italy last week.  Ryan Baird who looked nailed on for a start in the second row alongside James Ryan, after his great start of the season is also out due to an abductor injury with Ultan Dillane called in in his place.  Other than that big Devin Toner misses out although he is not to be written off.  James Lowe who is eligible for Ireland from the start of the November is included in the larger training squad along with two young pretenders to Johnny Sextons thrown Leinster’s Harry Byrne and Munster’s Ben Healy.  The big talking point as regards selection was at Scrum Half where a large number of fit players put their hands up for selection.  Unfortunately, John Cooney who was names Ulster’s player of the year and was on fire before the Covid suspension misses out altogether, after looking like he might even displace Conor Murray.  Leinster’s Luke McGrath will also feel unlucky.  Kiwi Jamison Gibson Parke who has played well since the resumption of rugby and Connachts Keiron Marmion who looks back to his cracking form of a few season ago were preferred along with Conor Murray.

A decision was made during the week that due to Covid the World Rankings of last January would be used for the 2023 World Cup Draw, which means Ireland will be among the second seeds and can count on one of the All Blacks, Wales, England or South Africa in their group.  While Ireland still have a chance of winning the Six Nations with a maximum 10 points haul from their last two games versus France and Italy the 8 Nations tournament is now a perfect opportunity for Andy Farrell to experiment in terms of players and playing style.  Ireland need to take a decisive step forward from last years disappointing World Cup and this is the perfect opportunity to do it.  The Pro-14 will be running alongside the finish to the Six Nations and Eight Nations with Leinster’s famous squad depth again being tested away to Glasgow on November 2nd in an attractive Monday night fixture.

Finally, South Africa will not play any international rugby again this year after they pulled out of the Super Rugby competition sighting Covid concerns and lack of player fitness/playing time before the tournament as key factors behind the decision.  They will be focusing on internal competitions until the end of the year before 2021 should see their top four franchises Lions, Stormers, Bulls and Sharks joining the Pro-16 and the Lions hopefully touring there.

Leinster Pro-14 Fixtures

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 currently are training on Friday nights only 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.

If there are any changes due to increased restrictions they will be communicated in player groups.

Minis/Youths Training

Unfortunately, a decision has been taken after a lot of soul searching to suspend Mini Rugby Training (U6-U12) until further notice.  At the moment Youth Rugby continues, however your coaches will let you know if any changes are made.  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.

If there are any changes due to increased restrictions they will be communicated in player groups.


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.

Player Profile U18s Captain Kevin McDonagh

Position: Hooker.


What team do you most look forward to playing the most and why?

Mullingar; old rivalry.

Favourite Food?


Favourite Band or Musician?

Post Malone.

If you could attend any sporting event in the world, what would it be?

The Super Bowl.

When did you last score a try?

Last training session.

Growing up who was you all time favourite rugby player?

Brian O’Driscoll.

Who is your funniest teammate?

Mark McCallum.

What is your favourite website?


Who is the best dressed in the squad?

Jamie Byrne.

What training drill do you dread the most?


What is your nick name?

Kev I.

What was your biggest achievement in rugby to date?

Making the Leinster Youth Squad.

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 3G artificial pitch.  All top soil has been stripped with foundation works underway.  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€600,000.  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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