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Canterbury of New Zealand

X Rugby 7s A Proven Pathway For Girls In Schools

X Rugby 7s A Proven Pathway For Girls In Schools

More girls are getting the chance to represent their school in rugby through adapted formats of the game and one school in Roscommon is showing how X Rugby 7s is proving successful in bringing new players to the sport and their local rugby club.

X Rugby 7s is an adapted format of the game played on a half pitch with reduced intensity contact. It’s designed to introduce new players to the game. It’s seven-a-side, which makes it easier to organise without a strong base of players, but still offers the fun and fitness associated with the game.

Convent Of Mercy Roscommon were among 13 schools and 20 teams taking part in Connacht’s Provincial X Rugby 7s Tournament for 2020. There are Junior and Senior competitions where teams can qualify for an All-Ireland tournament. X Rugby provides the only national competition for girls in Irish Rugby.

Students Ellie Moran and Sarah Purcell spoke to Irish Rugby TV about why they enjoy X Rugby in the below video. Ellie is in her first season as a rugby player while Sarah has been playing rugby since the age of eight with Creggs RFC, but now has the chance to line out for her school.

“It’s been a great way to introduce girls to contact rugby,” says Women’s Development Officer Wendy Hickey.

“We’ve used [X Rugby 7s] for moving from tag rugby to contact rugby and from that to 10-a-side rugby. It’s worked really well for us. With a panel of 10, you can go and play your tournaments and your blitzes.”

“It’s been something that the schools have grabbed onto,” she said. The cooperation between schools, clubs and their local CCRO’s (Club and Community Rugby Officers) is a key element to the programme’s success.

Sarah Farragher teaches in the Convent Of Mercy Roscommon. She is the Rugby Coordinator in the school, but has no background in the sport and doesn’t coach the team.

She’s worked instead with local parents and CCRO Micheál Glennon to integrate rugby into the PE Curriculum. The fact that Creggs RFC is just 15 minutes away has benefitted all concerned.

“It’s a symbiotic relationship,” says Farragher. “We send girls from the school to the club. The girls get trained up and the club increases its numbers while the club brings the rugby into the school for us. It gives every girl the chance to be involved in a sport where they can succeed.”

“I would definitely recommend it,” she said.

If you would like to know more about introducing X Rugby into your school, email Amanda Greensmith for more info.