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Ballinrobe’s French Adventure

Ballinrobe’s French Adventure

Ballinrobe Under 17 squad have just returned from “Festival Mondial de Rugby” (a A L’Ouverture) tournament in Vienne France which had 32 teams made up of the under 17 and 15 Rugby teams from the four corners of the world.

This bi-annual event was managed by Daniel Beaubuchez and run by a voluntary group of people in the Vienne District of France for the benefit of underage football. The patron to the event was Didier Retière, former Forwards French coach. The weekend is also an opportunity to meet players and playing styles from diverse nations

For the organization of the tournament, 500 people from the clubs, local associations, twin town committees and host families, are involved over the weekend of the tournament.

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Organized every two years by a team of 300 volunteers led by Daniel Beaubuchez, the founder, this tournament is an invitation to young people under 15 and under 17 from all nations, to meet their rugby counterparts but also the opportunity to exchange and express openness to others.

Some of the players will go to represent their clubs at Super 14, Super 12, Heineken Cup, Pro 12 and also their countries. The panel of 24 and six adults travelled to Vienne and were hosted in Luzinay a town twinned with Ballinrobe for the duration of the weekend.

The journey began two years ago after the return of their previous under 17 team. The focus of Joe Daly, Damien Burke and the club was on developing the players for the future of rugby in the Junior Club and to maximise the players own abilities and achieve their personal goals while working for the squad.

Some of these players will play above Junior level at rugby. What this shows is how a positive approach from the Branch and IRFU can grow the game and make dreams come true.

Training was carried out at Ballinrobe Race course (voted racecourse of the year by HRI) and in the local Sports hall through hail, rain and snow with little sunshine!. The dedication of the parents and players shows that they were willing to put in the “extra bit” for their friends.

The pooled competition with teams from New Zealand, South Africa, Belgium, Georgia, USA, Portugal, Cyprus, France and Ireland represented by Ballinrobe, meant that the standards were very high.

Ballinrobe played six matches over the two days- won three, drew two and lost one. The two teams from their day pool reached the final and semi final and as a result of the placing the best they could do on day two was come in ninth.

However they won the Fair Play award sponsored by Credit Agricole which was judged over the three day event for their sportsmanship, respect for authority and overall conduct with other players and teams.

The side was captained by Patrick Daly with an able assistant in Dean Kelly and of the panel there are six involved at under 17 District levels in Connaught and one at Connaught Under 18 level which shows that the players can come from Junior clubs if the commitment of the player is there. Watch how some of these players will progress.

The panel was made up of Ciaran Cameron, Oisin Canney, Adam Cannon, John Coleman, Sean Og Collins, Cathal Cronin, Joseph Burke, Matthew Burke, Ciaran Cameron, Oisín Canney, Patrick Daly (capt) Conor Geoghegan, Gary Keane, Daniel Keane, Dean Kelly, Eoghan Lynagh, Thomas Lynagh, Brian Maloney, Ian Mc Mahon, Kieron O Malley, Naish O Loughlin, Ronan O Reilly, Jack O Toole, Kevin Quinn, Michael Sheridan, Cillian Walsh