20 Jun, 09:22
Ireland Women's Sevens head coach Jon Skurr has announced a 12-woman squad for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow (June 29-30).
From Ards to Listowel, from North Meath to Westport hundreds of boys and girls and their coaches made the trip to Ashbourne RFC last Saturday for the Aviva Rugby Festival.
It was an early start for many of the teams but they relished the chance to take part in one of the biggest days in the MIni Rugby calendar.
The Aviva Rugby Festival is all about the spirit of the game and the focus is on participation and skills development. The teams get to take part in a number of games throughout the day and are rewarded with an Aviva goody bag before they leave.
The day is also popular with coaches as they get to compare the development of their team and to foster ties with clubs from other parts of Ireland.
This festival was noteworthy as it was the first to feature a specific section for girls teams reflecting the huge growth in the number of girls playing rugby in clubs and schools.
Speaking about the day IRFU National Age Grade Manager Hendrik Kruger said: "The Aviva Rugby Festival is a wonderful day for rugby and for the teams who have taken part. We are delighted with number of teams who travelled- many of whom were up very early this morningt."
"The clubs and schools are the bedrock of the game in Ireland and it is a tribute to the work of the teachers, coaches and parents that so many children are here today."
"Finally I must thank Ashbourne for the use of their facilities. The pitches were in excellenct condition and the whole day ran smoothly thanks to their hard work."