Connacht Rugby will be running three Girls Schools Programmes which will include both contact and non-contact versions of the game in the coming months.

A School Tag Programme, a 7s Schools Competition and a 10-a-side League will all be taking place across the province. Register for the events here.

The initiatives aim to give as many young players as possible the opportunity to play rugby.

The first competitions are two league-style blitzes to qualify for the IRFU National X7’s finals on October 10 and 26 for Junior and Senior teams with all schools welcome to compete. See full details and register here, the registration deadline for these events is September 29.

The Connacht Schools Tag Rugby Programme begins after Christmas with full details of the events and registration here.

We will be running a 10-a-side league for junior, senior and senior emerging schools from January to March and are seeking expressions of interest from schools to be part of this new girls’ schools rugby initiative. All schools interested in taking part in this initiative must register their interest by November 24. (See full details and register here).

Following the very successful hosting of the Women’s Rugby World Cup this year, record numbers tuned in to watch women’s rugby and now more young girls than ever will get the chance to play the game.

Wendy Hickey, Connacht Rugby Women’s Development Officer, is excited about the upcoming season for schools rugby and is hoping many schools will come on board.

“Schools rugby is growing in the province and we look forward to rolling out two new additional programmes this season.

“Our aim is to get more players involved in rugby in schools, be it through the contact or non-contact version of the game. We can also offer schools that have been active over the past number of years an additional challenge as a new 10s League is also being piloted this season.”

Seven-a-side rugby played across a half-pitch has proven very popular over the past few years and it is a great way to start playing rugby with both national (seniors) and provincial (junior and senior) competitions taking place in November and next April.

Tag rugby is another option that will be made available to students across Connacht, with local blitzes run by the Connacht Rugby Club and Community Rugby Officers, leading to a Provincial Tag Competition starting in January.

“Girls want to play rugby and represent their school,” says Hickey, “and with these various options now available, I would expect to see many more schools coming on board and getting involved.”

For any queries on the above or if your school are interested in playing rugby, please contact [email protected].

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