10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Aughrim Rugby Club is based in south County Wicklow. The club was founded in February 2011. Aughrim RFC, although in its infancy, has gone about the club set-up superbly, incorporating a full business model into the club structure.
Key to its sustainable future is the fact that it is not in a rush to jump through age grade rugby.
As a new club, Aughrim has been heavily branding itself in the region (Aughrim Rugby where stars are born) and since February this year they have put in place a schools partner programme which currently numbers seven schools.
They have appointed two Coach Development Officers, and most importantly they have appointed a Schools Recruitment Officer and by August they aim to have 20 IRFU-certified coaches.
The club put in place a business partner programme which has already seen interest from Dublin, Kilkenny and Wexford. All this for mini rugby?
The club's PRO Derek McAllister said: "Start as you mean to go on - our committee is putting in place the building blocks to ensure a sustainable club from a recruitment and sponsor side of things, we have recruited 118 registered players from our schools partner programme in under two months."
Aughrim Rugby Club will one day play all age grades but that goal is in a 10-year plan. Their immediate aim is to educate the players through a fun and enjoyable rugby education programme.