It might only be Christmas, but the IRFU and Bud Light, as well as Irish internationals Ronan O’Gara, Rory Best and Paul O’Connell, are already wishing for summer with the announcement of the venues for the 2009 Bud Light Tag season.
This is the only official IRFU TAG Rugby programme in Ireland and registration of teams will open on January 19th 2009, with the Leagues running from May to August. The growth of Bud Light Tag has been phenomenal and this year’s programme expects to see over 1000 teams and 12000 participants at 23 venues across Ireland. The extended venue programme for this year will see leagues taking place in major towns and cities across the country.
In addition to these venues, this year will see more Bud Light Tag Beach Festivals being added to the calendar after their successful debut last season. There will also be an All Ireland Open Championship at the end of the season that will be open to all teams to battle for the title of champions of Ireland.
The league caters for all levels of skill and fitness and for mixed social teams, men’s and veterans. The growth of Tag Rugby has been successful in spreading the popularity of the game of rugby and its non-contact nature and social aspect have made it accessible to both men and women in the specially graded levels. Teams looking to take part can register on www.irfutag.ie or contact IRFU Leisure Rugby on firstname.lastname@example.org and the registration process opens on January 19th 2008.
Bud Light Tag, as the official IRFU Tag Rugby programme, works in partnership with the clubs who act as venues for the leagues. The IRFU and venue clubs work together at injecting activity during the traditionally quiet summer months as part of a direct profit sharing arrangement with the IRFU, as well as benefitting from the increased numbers availing of the club’s bar and catering facilities on Bud Light Tag nights at the venues. This arrangement will see the venues share in the revenue generated by the number of teams that take part during the Bud Light Tag Leagues.
IRFU TAG Manager Olly Hodges said, “Last year’s leagues exceeded expectations to the point that we have again expanded the number of venues, allowing for more teams and players to take part. The social aspect of TAG and its ability to attract players who may never have even set foot in a rugby club before has been not only a boost to the venue club in term of revenues, but also to the possibility of attracting new members”.