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Conor Murray Launches Aviva Mini Rugby Nations Festival & Provincial Festivals

Conor Murray at the launch of the Aviva Mini Rugby Nations Cup with Eve White, Shane Fox, Caoimhe O'Reilly, and Shea Delaney. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Conor Murray at the launch of the Aviva Mini Rugby Nations Cup with Eve White, Shane Fox, Caoimhe O'Reilly, and Shea Delaney ©SPORTSFILE/Brendan Moran

Aviva, as a proud sponsor of Irish Rugby, are celebrating Ireland’s bumper season of rugby ahead in Japan by offering Mini Rugby teams around the country the opportunity to play their own Mini Rugby Nations Festival in the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland scrum half Conor Murray was on hand to launch the campaign alongside minis players in Aviva Stadium today.

With rugby fever soon to grip the nation, Aviva is searching for a total of 20 Under-10 Boys and Under-12 Girls teams to play in a festival, which will be held at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, September 22 – the same day as Ireland’s opening clash with Scotland in Yokohama.

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Tapping into the rugby excitement around the world this Autumn, each Minis club will be twinned with a team competing in Japan, while representing their local club at the home of Irish Rugby.

The event will spearhead Aviva’s #SafeToDream campaign, which celebrates how kids’ dreams are the same as their Ireland rugby counterparts.

Many kids dream of playing in our national stadium at the highest level for their country, and Aviva is now presenting the future stars of the game with the opportunity to make this happen!

Aviva has also announced the regional dates and locations for the 2019 Aviva Mini Rugby Provincial Festivals, which will take place in October, running concurrently with events in Japan. These festivals offer both girls and boys the opportunity to develop as players at grassroots level throughout the country.

Provincial Festivals

Four provincial locations have been chosen, with the festivals taking place in the following clubs:

Sunday, October 6: Munster Provincial Festival – UL Bohemians, Limerick
Saturday, October 12: Ulster Provincial Festival – Bangor, Co. Down
Sunday, October 13: Leinster Provincial Festival – DLS Palmerston, Dublin
Saturday, October 19: Connacht Provincial Festival – Corinthians, Galway
Sunday, March 29: Girls National Festival – Venue TBC

Hundreds of boys and girls will get to play with their club’s Minis teams in provincial festivals and each participating team are in with the chance of being picked to play in the National Festival, which is held in the Aviva Stadium in May each year.

Speaking at the launch, Conor Murray said:

I’m delighted to help launch the Aviva Mini Rugby Nations Cup. Looking back on my time playing with my local club Garryowen when I was younger, it would have been a dream to play in the Aviva Stadium with my friends, particularly during such an exciting time for Irish Rugby.

“Every Irish Rugby player once dreamed of playing in the Aviva Stadium and it’s great that Aviva is giving the opportunity to so many clubs to get involved. Running out of the tunnel is such a buzz on match day, and it will be incredibly exciting for kids to experience this at the Aviva Mini Rugby Nations Cup.”

Lisa Bergin, Sponsorship Manager with Aviva Ireland, commented:

Aviva are proud supporters of Irish Rugby, Aviva Mini Rugby Festivals and the Aviva Stadium. We are delighted to bring all our sponsorships together today to offer Minis players around the country the opportunity to play their own Mini Rugby Nations Cup here in the Aviva Stadium while the Ireland team are away in Japan.

We want to encourage kids to play rugby in a safe and fun environment and we are delighted to make the dreams of young children come true by playing on the same pitch as their Irish Rugby heroes, including Conor Murray. This is an incredible opportunity and we want to encourage rugby clubs from all corners of the country to get involved.”

To be in with a chance of claiming a place at the Aviva Mini Rugby Nations Cup or to find out more about partaking in the provincial festivals, visit: www.aviva.ie/safetodream and follow #SafeToDream on Aviva Ireland social channels.