Ballina Rugby Club recently played host to two guest coaches of distinction when Jimmy Duffy and current Connacht boss Eric Elwood took a lively, informative and diverse training session with the club’s senior and Under-19 players.
Jimmy Duffy worked alone with the forwards for a while, focusing on the lineout, and under his keen analytical eye he was able to help the large group of forwards present to improve their efficiency in this area.
The entire Ballina squad came together then as Jimmy assisted Eric Elwood to demonstrate a series of drills and techniques which concentrated on improving the defensive abilities of the players.
The session was lively, provocative and very enjoyable with all players participating and trying out the drills and skills under Eric’s watchful eye.
It was an excellent opportunity for the Ballina players to get an insight into of some of the skills developed by Connacht that have made the westerners so defensively competent this season.
Ballina’s director of rugby Cory Brown, and team managers Clive Moore and Ivan Heffernan, along with Under-19 coaches Michael Grogan and James Cawley extended their thanks to both Jimmy and Eric for taking time out from their busy schedules to head up to north Mayo, and taking a session which will be of ongoing value to the Ballina players.
Describing the reasoning behind the session, Eric said: “We (Connacht Rugby) want to stay in touch with the grassroots of the game, we want to pass on some of our expertise so that rugby in the province can contunue to grow.
“Having a strong club rugby scene in Connacht is very inportant to us as we strive to build our squad from as much local talent as possible.
“The likes of Aidan Wynne (Buccaneers), Andrew Browne (Galwegians) and Johnny O’Connor (Corinthians) have all come up through our age grade structures and we will do everything in our power to continue developing rugby at this level.”
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