The annual Exiles training camp has been a breeding ground for new talent emerging in the overseas ranks. Many of the participants have gone on to represent Ireland at various grades in previous seasons.
The 9th annual Exiles Screening camp took place on 29/30 June, at St. Mary’s University College in Twickenham. 63 selected players from the U17, U18 & U19 (at 1st January 2008) age-ranges participated. They came from as far apart as Aberdeen and Truro, and included a number of young English, Scottish, and Irish internationals. There is no doubt – from what was seen at the Camp – that more will follow them along that path.
While the majority of the Camp was taken up with skills/techniques sessions, the players also undertook a full battery of fitness tests. Talks on ‘The Prevention of Injuries (Neil Boyd), ‘Sport Psychology for the Young Player‘ (Mark Pink), and ‘Rugby & Education’ (John Hunter) were included in the programme. The latter was aimed at making our young players focus on their lifestyle (university, etc.) as part of their rugby development – in line with IRFU thinking – and it was good again to see the large number of parents who availed themselves of the opportunity to attend this particular session.
The coaching team was headed up, as usual, by Exiles’ Head Coach Peter Halsall, supported by fellow Exiles Kevan Bell, Andrew Browne, Brian Farrell, Henry Diamond, Danny Lyons, and Simon Mason, with the much appreciated support of the IRFU through the coaching inputs from National Skills Coach Brian McLaughlin and Munster Branch Elite Player Development Manager Ken O’Connell. The breadth of knowledge on the coaching team meant that every technical aspect – from scrummaging to kicking, for example – was covered by a ‘specialist’.
It is also appropriate to give public appreciation of our physiotherapist Neil Boyd, our medical officer Dr. Tim Brown, and our sport sciences’ support team led by Lisa Griffiths – all combining with the afore-mentioned to give the best display of team-work we have seen yet at a Camp.
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