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Armagh RFC: A Country Club In A City Palace

Armagh RFC: A Country Club In A City Palace

The Ulster Bank League kicks off this weekend and as part of our build-up, Irish Rugby TV visited the four newest clubs in the league – Armagh, Boyne, Cashel and Sligo. We start today with a look at Armagh, nestled neatly in the Palace Grounds. Armagh are also the first club to feature on our new YouTube channel.

Armagh Rugby Club

 

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City of Armagh RFC – The name belies the reality. Armagh is designated a city but this is a club with a real country feel.

One of the oldest clubs in Ireland, Armagh is, not surprisingly, a club steeped in the traditions of the game. They take pride in embodying the amateur ethos of club rugby. But do not for a minute think they are stuck in the past. This is a very forward thinking club.

For starters the club finances are in a reasonably healthy state. They have invested in their pitch, in upgrading their facilities and there is more to come.

The newly-fitted kitchen will see them serve meals to all the visiting teams – helping to keep alive the tradition of rivalry on the pitch and friendships off.

Players are taking notice and many of their alumni have returned to their roots. Assistant coach Colin Atkinson grew up in the club before going to university in Belfast and playing All-Ireland League rugby for Belfast Harlequins. Now he, like many, is back in the club.

Look at the names of the first team players and the names of club officials – generations are represented in both in what really is a family club. But again they are not tied down by the past. People are coming to watch their games from all parts of Armagh.

Club President Andrew Nesbitt is keen to stress the importance of the mix of tradition and forward thinking in the club.

“This is a club that can go places. The history of the game can be seen in the pictures around the club and we have ambitions in the Ulster Bank League, but we are equally ambitious about building a sustainable club for future generations of the game,” he said.

Armagh RFC on Irish Rugby TV

Armagh RFC on YouTube