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2018Girls RugbyIrish SchoolsPlayer DevelopmentRoscreaRugby Academies

Goodbye for now to Minis as Academy reaches second half

By July 5, 2018January 9th, 2019No Comments

After a great 3 days of the 2018 Roscrea Rugby Academy programme, we were really sorry to say goodbye to our enthusiastic and talented Minis group on Wednesday evening.  The remaining 50 odd Intermediate and Advanced players now take all the limelight as we head into the final 2 days of action.  Read on below for the highlights from Tuesday plus what is in store for the last part of the week….


Tuesday at the 2018 Roscrea Rugby Academy saw the players face into the second day of skills focus, with technique tuition and physical assessment of the rucking and passing areas delivered by the coaching team of Johne Murphy, Tyrone Elliot, Alan Tynan and Joe Walsh.  With the continuing warm and sunny conditions, the players had learnt from day 1 to remain hydrated plus additional clean nutrition was added in the form of fresh fruit and Irish Biltong to ensure that the group stayed adequately fueled right through the morning sessions.  #AlwaysImproving

S&C coach Ben Daly also got to continue his excellent work with the groups, testing speed and explosiveness, plus continuing to introduce the players to age appropriate gym routines.  Tuesday evening revolved around more teambuilding CARDS activity in the form of a group rugby quiz delivered by Quizmaster extraordinaire Joe Walsh plus a nailbiting evening session of free time as Camp Manager Joe Shaw watched his beloved England limp through their last 16 World Cup tie against Colombia (much to the disappointment of the Academy players!).  That was all quickly ancient history as the players enjoyed another opening of the Healthy Camp Shop (where the VitHit low calorie drinks, Fulfil bars and Natural Confectionery Company Jellies were in particular demand) and a second sitting of the Kagaroo Court where the second day of minor misdemeanors got aired and punished in a suitably light hearted fashion!  After that it was time for bed ahead of a big final day for the Minis playing group.

Wednesday started with the customary Roscrea breakfast, a range of options including choices of cereals and porridge, plus breads and fresh fruit, followed by the daily morning meeting outlining the programme and objectives for the day ahead.  The rest of the morning revolved around the last round of technique development and testing covering defence with ShadowmanSports and the players in all three groups, now fully tuned into the high performance focus, fully committed to the sessions delivered.  After another hearty lunch (vegtable soup, Cottage Pie and veg or salad plus rice pudding and jam), it was time to meet our special guests for the day, ex-CCR pupils and current pro players with Connacht and Zebre respectively, Sean O’Brien and Ciaran Gaffney. The two guys provided a quality insight into their journey to and lives as pro players during the course of a 45 minute Q&A session in the main hall, getting quizzed by a really engaged and respectful audience for about half of that time.  After this, the group split, with anyone who had ordered one staying behind to get scanned by our partners Impact Gumshields for their world-first 3D printed gumshields and the remainder of the group heading out for a continuity and technique session on the main pitch with the coaches and pro players.

The end of the afternoon and the overall camp experience for our Minis players came in the form of an excellent Mental Wellness presentation from Titan Wellness representative ex-Munster player and current Mental Skills coach to the Munster Academy squad Cathal Sheridan.  As well as showcasing his impressive sports psychology credentials and the world’s best dog, Cathal gave a really engaging and important talk around the importance of good mental health in sports performance and in life as a whole and what pitfalls young players should be aware of and avoid.  He also made it interactive, challenging the playing group to take on a few key tasks to improve their resilience and awareness within the session.  All in all, the entire group seemed to take plenty from the content offered.

Sadly, it was then time to say goodbye to our 10-11 years old Minis group, who were presented with their 2018 Roscrea Rugby Academy graduation certificates and signed our commemorative poster for posterity.  As a group, it was a pleasure to deal with these ambitious young players and our coaching/camp staff were heartened by the overwhelmingly positive feedback we had from both players and parents as they departed Cistercian College.

And so that left our 35 residential Intermediate and Advanced players to enjoy the evening programme, including a long awaited swim in the college pool plus a presentation by Joe Walsh on the tools and importance of game analysis, the scrapheap challenge CARDS game and the customary Kangaroo Court to wrap up proceedings on what was a really busy and challenging day of development activities.

Keep tabs on all the action images from the 2018 Roscrea Rugby Academy via our gallery here.