The IRFU hosted a Disability Tag Rugby event in The King’s Hospital last week and it proved to be a wonderful day for all involved as the Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools and England Under-18 Counties players took part.
Four teams that work with players with a disability – Westmanstown Wasps, Seapoint Dragons, Tullamore Tigers and Stewarts – took part in the day that offered their teams a chance to train and play with some of the aspiring young international players from Ireland and England.
This was a pilot project as part of the Disability Rugby Programme bringing together teams in an inclusive, modified form of the game that is open to as many as is safe and practicable. It was also an opportunity for emerging elite players to build their coaching and refereeing skills.
The young Irish and English players, who were involved in a two-match series in Ashbourne over the Easter holidays, were coached in how to adapt their knowledge for players of mixed ability and then took part in some fun Tag matches.
The four teams for their part were well able to show their skills and teach the youngsters a thing or two.
Dublin Gaelic football star Dean Rock, who is a co-ordinator with Stewarts Care in Palmerstown, said: “One of my roles is to get our service users active so we set up a Tag rugby team and this is a great opportunity to get some coaching from these young players.”
Colin Moran, IRFU Training Manager, commented: “The message we worked on today was to focus on what players are able to do and to modify the coaching to make it accessible and enjoyable. I was really impressed with how the young players did this and I think everyone learned from the day.”