Plenty of hard work going on behind the scenes at Longford rugby club

Tommy Butler, Longford RFC PRO

Reporter:

Tommy Butler, Longford RFC PRO

Email:

lrfconnects@gmail.com

Plenty of hard work going on behind the scenes at Longford rugby club

Philly Dardis and Barry Stewart in action for LRFC

This week marks Phase 3 of the lifting of restrictions with team contact sports allowed back.

However, it does not mean that we will be back on the rugby field immediately. Firstly, June/July are traditionally the off season for Irelands rugby clubs.

Secondly, the IRFU have established a process whereby all clubs have to submit a Covid-19 Safety Plan for approval before rugby activities can restart in the club.

Director of Rugby Niall Moran and the Club's newly appointed Covid 19 Officer Gerry Larkin have been working hard on the plan, which has been submitted to the IRFU.

We are currently waiting on approval/feedback and as soon as we have that, we can look at getting rugby restarted.

Senior Rugby
Senior Men’s Head Coach Glenn Baskett has been working hard behind the scenes to finalise 2020/21 Senior Men’s rugby programme.

All is starting to come together and the first big announcement is that 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.More announcements will take place in the coming weeks.

At the moment on the pitch training is pencilled in from the start of August with personal fitness training before that. It looks like matches will kick off again at the start of September.

Everything is starting to fall into place and everyone cannot wait to get back on the pitch again.

As we discussed before Covid-19 it was easy to take the ability to play sport for granted, so getting back on the pitch to play the game we love will be extra special this September, even the fitness training before!

Mini/Youth Rugby
The Mini/Youths Committee are currently looking into the feasibility of allowing our players to get back playing rugby in the near future. Stay tuned to our website and Facebook for updates. We will only restart when the club's Covid-19 plan is in place and approved by the IRFU.

AGM of Longford RFC
As previously notified on 15/06/2020 the Annual AGM of Longford RFC will take place on Tuesday, July 14 at 8pm. The AGM was originally going to be virtual only but due to the relaxation of Government restrictions will now take place in the clubhouse with a maximum attendance of 50 People with social distancing and a max 2 hour meeting limit.

Cocooners or other members who cannot attend in person due to Covid-19 can attend virtually by Zoom, please email the Honorary Secretary David Bird; dbbirdy@gmail.com if you require this facility.

This is an important AGM as it includes the bi-annual election of a new Board: President, Vice-President, Chairperson, Honorary Secretary, Chair of Rugby, Chair of Finance and Chair of Administration.

If you would like to go forward for any of these roles a nomination form endorsed by at least two paid up members should be forwarded to Hon. Secretary David Bird by email to dbbirdy@gmail.com by Tuesday, July 7.

The nomination form can be downloaded at this link; https://bit.ly/389In9H or requested from Hon. Secretary.
All motions need to be forwarded to dbbirdy@gmail.com by Tuesday, June 30.
Minutes of the 2019 AGM can be requested from the Hon. Secretary dbbirdy@gmail.com

Sin Bin Event Centre
The Sin Event Centre is going to be reopening soon on the stewardship of Andrew Reynolds. Log on to the Sin Bin Page on Facebook and like the page to keep up to date with the exciting new development.

New 4G Artificial Match Pitch
Longford Rugby Clubs new 4G full size community artificial pitch moved another step closer last week with the granting of full planning permission for the project by Longford County Council. Procurement has also been finalised with a preferred bidder being selected. It is hoped to begin the project in August, meaning the pitch could be in operation before the end of 2020! This will mean rugby and other sports can be played in practically all bar extreme weather conditions and cancellations due to waterlogged pitches will be a thing of the past.

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. An exciting sponsorship initiative in this regard will be launched during the week. If you would like make a contribution or help in the fundraising please phone Derick Turner on 086 255 9624.

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.

Senior
We welcome players who have not played for the club before, returning players and even players who would like to take up rugby. We have state of the art facilities and a great coaching/playing structure.

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 086 2482005.

Minis/Youths
For Mini/Youth Enquiries please email lrfconnects@gmail.com and we will put you in contact with the appropriate person.

Live Rugby

The Super Rugby Aotearoa Competition continued over the weekend with the Crusaders overcoming the Chiefs and the Blues overcoming the Highlanders.

On this side of the pond Professional Rugby is slowly moving back towards restarting.

At this stage all the players in the Provincial Squads have been testing for Covid-19 and have been given the all clear to return to training. The Pro-14 have announced a provisional fixture list, which will see two matches played within countries followed by semi-finals and finals.

The European Champions Cup has also set Provisional Dates for the concluding this season's tournament.

It will be really exciting to see professional live rugby in Ireland/Europe again and hopefully if we continue to make progress in the fight against Covid-19 then supporters will be allowed to attend the matches.


Provisional Fixtures
August 22: 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 29: 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 5 (Pro-14 Semi-Finals): Winner Conference A v Runner-up Conference B, Winner Conference B v Runner-up Conference A.
September 12: European Quarter-finals.
September 19: PRO14 Final.
September 26/27: European Semi-finals.
October 17: European Champions Cup Final