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Stage Set For 2019 IRFU U-18 Men’s Interprovincial Festival

Stage Set For 2019 IRFU U-18 Men’s Interprovincial Festival

The IQ Rugby squad that took part in last year's inaugural IRFU Under-18 Interprovincial Rugby Festival at the University of Limerick ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

The scene is set for the 2019 staging of the IRFU Under-18 Men’s Interprovincial Rugby Festival at the University of Limerick. This is the second year of the event and once again over 200 players from eight representative sides will spend 10 days in camp as part of a three-game series.

An U-18 IQ Rugby side will play against provincial Schools teams from Leinster, Munster and Ulster in a round-robin format. IQ Rugby’s squad is made up of players who have come through the IRFU Exiles talent identification programme.

Clubs teams from Leinster, Munster and Ulster are in a group with a combined Clubs & Schools side from Connacht. Memorably, the westerners were the winners of the U-18 Clubs tournament in 2018, while Leinster celebrated winning the Schools competition.

Players will play and train across the week at the University of Limerick campus, with games taking place on the synthetic pitches north of the River Shannon. All games are free for parents and supporters to attend.

Strength and conditioning, player recovery and nutrition are all managed in a controlled environment across a detailed itinerary. The aim is to ensure players adopt the right habits while still in a developmental phase of their rugby career.

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A personal development workshop takes place the day after their first game before players from Munster Rugby host a Q&A session on ‘Managing Yourself Off The Field’.

IRFU National Academy forwards coach John Fogarty will lead a tight-five scrum workshop, while a mental skills workshop will be led by Munster Rugby mental skills coach Cathal Sheridan.

Continuing professional development is also available to coaches who will attend match day reflection and peer review sessions after games.

Leinster Rugby Academy manager Noel McNamara will reflect and present key learnings from his role as head coach of the Ireland Under-20s in a season where they claimed the Grand Slam in the Under-20 Six Nations Championship.

Speaking about the campus-based festival format, IRFU Age Grade Manager Eoin Hogan said:

It’s fair to say that the first year of the event was a resounding success, given the positive feedback from players, parents and coaches in 2018. This year we’re looking at ways to make the festival even bigger and better.

“The personal development aspect of the festival is even more important this year. While players learn to cope with the high-performance environment and close proximity of games, they are given the tools to develop a healthy approach to managing themselves on both sides of the touchline.

“We’ve designed a programme that fosters personal development while providing everything they need in terms of nutrition, coaching and athletic performance.”

You can keep up to date with the festival on the Irish Rugby social channels.

Click here for the Connacht U-18 Clubs & School squad

Click here for the Leinster U-18 Schools squad

Click here for the Leinster U-18 Clubs squad

Click here for the Ulster U-18 Clubs squad

Click here for the Ulster U-18 Schools squad

2019 IRFU UNDER-18 MEN’S INTERPROVINCIAL RUGBY FESTIVAL:

Matchday 1 – Saturday, August 17

Under-18 Schools – Munster Rugby v IQ Rugby, 1pm

Under-18 Clubs – Ulster Rugby v Connacht Rugby, 3pm

Under-18 Schools – Ulster Rugby v Leinster Rugby, 5pm

Under-18 Clubs – Leinster Rugby v Munster Rugby, 7pm

Matchday 2 – Wednesday, August 21

Under-18 Clubs – Munster Rugby v Ulster Rugby, 1pm

Under-18 Schools – Ulster Rugby v Munster Rugby, 3pm

Under-18 Clubs – Connacht Rugby v Leinster Rugby, 5pm

Under-18 Schools – Leinster Rugby v IQ Rugby, 7pm

Matchday 3 – Sunday, August 25

Under-18 Clubs – Munster Rugby v Ulster Rugby, 11am

Under-18 Schools – Ulster Rugby v Munster Rugby, 1pm

Under-18 Clubs – Connacht Rugby v Leinster Rugby, 3pm

Under-18 Schools – Leinster Rugby v IQ Rugby, 7pm