The Ulster Branch of the IRFU held its annual Maxol Primary Schools Mini Rugby Festival at Ravenhill earlier this month, running from Tuesday through to Friday. 32 schools took part from across the province.
This was Maxol's first year of involvement as sponsor and the Mini Rugby Festival proved to be a big success.
Each school got the opportunity to play three matches against other primary schools followed by a packed lunch provided by Maxol and an opportunity to meet an Ulster star at the end of the day. This year the players present were Rory Best, Robbie Diack, Paddy Wallace and Stephen Ferris(pictured below).
The participating schools came from right across the province, with three schools attending the Maxol event for the first time - Carniny PS (Ballymena), Millburn PS (Coleraine) and Ballyholme PS (Bangor).
A big thank you from Ulster Rugby to all the schools for taking part - they showed tremendous enthusiasm and skill throughout the festival.
Thanks also to the Ulster Society for providing referees and of course to sponsors Maxol - with their help, Ulster Rugby have managed to increase the number of schools playing mini rugby in Ulster to 92.
In order to be eligible to play at Ravenhill, each school must affiliate to the Ulster Branch of the IRFU and take part in a regional qualifying blitz of which there are eight throughout the province.
The Clontarf Senior Panel who are set to take on Lansdowne in next Saturday's Ulster Bank League Div1A final parked training last night to continue their participation in the IRFU/Pieta House 'Mind Ur Buddy' mental fitness initiative to educate and equip Club members to spot the signs when someone is in crisis.
A large crowd turned out at Lakelands Park where three penalties from the boot of Matt D'Arcy steered defending champions Clontarf to a hard-earned 9-0 semi-final win over hosts Terenure College. Check out highlights of a closely-fought Ulster Bank League Division 1A play-off.
Lansdowne topped the Division 1A table but they still have it all to do if they are to claim a second Ulster Bank League title in three seasons. It promises to be a festival atmosphere at the Aviva Stadium and in the clubhouse when they face Young Munster in Saturday's semi-final.
Young Munster are flying the flag for Limerick and Munster club rugby in the Ulster Bank League Division 1A play-offs. The Cookies are in a rich vein of form as they prepare for their semi-final clash with table toppers Lansdowne.
Terenure College have their sights set firmly on their Ulster Bank League Division 1A semi-final this weekend. Their recent resurgence is part of an ongoing programme to build a community-based club for the future. Irish Rugby TV went to Lakelands Park to see just what has spurred this initiative on.
Reigning champions Clontarf are ready for their Ulster Bank League Division 1A semi-final against Terenure, but they are also preparing for the future with plans for a new all-weather pitch at Castle Avenue. Irish Rugby TV visited the club to find out more.
Portlaoise RFC played host to hundreds of boys and girls from all over Ireland in the second Aviva Mini Rugby Festival of the season. We caught up with Ireland's Rhys Ruddock and Nora Stapleton and some of the young players at last Saturday's event. There was also a guest appearance by the Men's and Women's RBS 6 Nations trophies.
Adam Griggs came off the bench to score the match-winning try as Lansdowne beat Cork Constitution 27-20 to secure home advantage in the Ulster Bank League play-offs. Two players who caught the eye during the game were Cork Con winger Darren Sweetnam and Lansdowne centre Tom Farrell.
The IRFU, Jamie Heaslip, Rob Kearney and the ISPCC have joined forces to 'Stand up against Bullying' with the development of a new 'Shield your Club' toolkit which will allow rugby clubs review, audit and improve their anti-bullying policies. Clubs can email email@example.com for more information.
The Ireland Club team will play French Clubs at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday night after the RBS 6 Nations clash. We spoke to captain Matt D'Arcy, centre Mark Roche and head coach Paul Cunningham. Match tickets are on sale from www.ticketmaster.ie.
The Irish Rugby Football Union and the CARA National Adapted Physical Activity Centre, in conjunction with the Department of Justice and Equality, have launched the Xcessible Youth Sport Initiative 'Special Schools Tag Rugby'.
Rory Scannell turned in a man-of-the-match performance at out-half as his 24-point haul, including two terrific individual tries, helped Dolphin claim a bonus point in Saturday's 34-15 Ulster Bank League win over UCD in Cork.
Lansdowne have moved seven points clear at the top of Ulster Bank League Division 1A, but they had to endure a nerve-jangling finish against Old Belvedere whose goal-kicker Josh Glynn missed a late conversion on the Aviva Stadium's back pitch.
Mick McGrath is one of the latest players to make the step up from Ulster Bank League rugby to the professional game. The young Leinster winger has scored tries against Cardiff and Edinburgh so far this season.