“Rugby’s been in my blood for a long long time,” says Philip Rainey. The former Ulster and Ireland player has a new rugby passion coursing through his veins – Mixed Ability Rugby.
Mixed Ability Rugby is a 15-a-side game which features a mixture of disabled and non-disabled players in each team. It’s a full-contact format suitable for players aged over 18. Scrums are uncontested.
It took Ireland by storm over the summer thanks to the staging of IMART 2022 in Cork. Players from six Irish clubs took part – Ballincollig RFC, Sundays Well, Banbridge, DLSP, Bantry Bay and a Malone side featuring Philip himself.
“It’s a great opportunity, because we talk about mixed ability and everyone has got a different level of ability,” he told Irish Rugby TV.
“We’re demonstrating a model here that works for all levels of ability. Rugby can help individuals with their personal development to integrate them better into society. It’s a wonderful opportunity and we should encourage it as much as possible.”