Connacht Rugby and Clubforce ‘Bridging the Gap’ Webinar, Wednesday 26th May, 7pm.

Join us for a very exciting webinar with our continued partners Clubforce to talk all things women’s rugby and ‘Bridging the Gap’ from grassroots to the professional field.

The panel on the evening will include:

  • Ross Mannion, Connacht Rugby Women’s Head Coach
  • Fraser Gow the U18’s Women’s Head Coach
  • Mary Healy, Backs and Skills Coach from the Clubforce Emerging Talent Team
  • Mary Fyfe, Director of Rugby at London Irish RFC
  • Danny Webb, Head Coach of the London Irish Emeralds.

Clubforce continues a strong partnership with Connacht Rugby in promoting female participation at grassroots level through the 26 rugby clubs, and contributes to player coaching from minis through to senior women’s teams.


The event is free to attend and register.  Register your place on the webinar, which is taking place on Wednesday 26th May at 7pm. Please follow the button below to register your spot!




The Connacht Rugby squad gathered with sunny skies at The Sportsground in preparation for their clash against Munster this weekend.

Here are some of the pictures taken during training…


Following ongoing dialogue, the IRFU welcomes additional clarity from Sport Ireland on the status of outdoor training as follows:

“From May 10th outdoor training for adults in pods of a maximum of 15 people can return. This includes contact training.

On that basis, outdoor, contact training will also be permitted for those under the age of 18 in pods of a maximum of 15 people.”

Currently Permitted (ROI):

“Underage non-contact outdoor training in pods of 15”

Pitches can reopen but indoor facilities e.g. “changing rooms, showers, kitchens, meeting rooms must remain closed apart from essential toilets.”

From Monday May 10th (ROI):

“Outdoor contact training for adults in pods of a maximum of 15 people”

“Contact training will also be permitted for those under the age 18 in pods of a maximum of 15 people”

Training can be contact, non-contact or a blend of both. This is strictly on an opt-in basis and should be based on the feedback of each individual playing group.

Please note, all clubs and schools who wish to play structured contact rugby when permitted under public health measures must undergo a minimum of four weeks of contact readiness training.

From Monday June 7th (ROI):

Subject to the public health situation at the time, “outdoor sports matches can recommence. No spectators are permitted.”

As per the #ReadyForRugby overview issued on March 16th 2021, all clubs and schools who wish to play structured contact rugby must undergo a minimum of four weeks of contact readiness training.

Northern Ireland:

Clubs and schools in Northern Ireland are not affected by this update. Northern Ireland Executive regulations are to be reviewed on 13th May 2021 and the IRFU and Ulster Rugby will relay any updates to clubs.

Further Updates

The IRFU and provinces will continue to relay all updates to public health measures. An updated version of the IRFU Rugby Participation Roadmap 2021/22 will also be issued in due course.

An updated version of the #ReadyForRugby Overview is available here

Non-Rugby Activity In Clubs:

Commercial activities operated by clubs including bar and cafe facilities are subject to relevant sector guidelines.

Message From IRFU Rugby Development Director Colin McEntee:

“After ongoing dialogue, we welcome the clarification from Sport Ireland that contact training can resume in the Republic of Ireland from May 10th. We want to see a summer of fun for our sport – clubs, teams, pods and players will be able to choose how and when they get back out onto the pitch.

With matches permitted in the Republic of Ireland from June 7th, there will be a wide variety of game options available and clubs will be able to play each other at a local level from that time.

It is anticipated that a return to competitive structures will commence in August 2021 for all men’s and women’s adult teams, U20s, school, youth and minis starting at local and provincial level. This will be confirmed in due course.

Of all of the values of Irish Rugby, fun is the one we’ve missed the most in the last year. We encourage clubs to focus on a fun and safe environment in welcoming players back to rugby.

 Message From IRFU Medical Director Rod McLoughlin:

“We must remember at all times that COVID-19 has not been eliminated from this island. It is critical that clubs continue to minimise risk and adhere to all public health measures in place. 

Rugby will only return in a meaningful way if we adopt the right behaviours that will keep ourselves, our teammates and our club mates safe.

It has been well over a year since most club players have been involved in competitive rugby and we have seen from other team sports that there is an increased risk of injury after a lengthy period without structured training.

That means clubs will have to be extra cautious around the training loads they are putting in place. Player welfare still applies around injury prevention just as much as it does in terms of COVID-19.

#ReadyForRugby Support:

 In addition to the support available to you from your province, here are a list of resources for your club:

COVID-19 Safety Planning: 

The Connacht Rugby squad gathered at The Sportsground on Tuesday kicking off their preparations for Saturday’s  Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup game against Leinster  (k/o 7.35pm).

Here’s a look at some of the best pics from Tuesday’s session…



Intuity Technologies, the leading Managed IT and Managed Print provider to SME’s across Ireland, today announced it will renew its role as Connacht Rugby IT Systems and Security Partner.

Intuity Technologies have been working closely with Connacht Rugby for over two years now to ensure the off-pitch team have secure state of the art technology in place to support the winning team on the field.

Speaking at the announcement this week, CEO at Intuity Technologies, Gerard Cox said, “We are excited to continue our partnership with Connacht Rugby and look forward to supporting the team both on and off the pitch as we progress the digital transformation of the organisation”.

Gavin Duffy, Sponsorship Manager at Connacht Rugby said; “The team at Connacht Rugby have really enjoyed working with Intuity Technologies for the last two years. We have had unparalleled support and access to cutting edge technology solutions which, particularly in our new remote working environments, have proven invaluable. We look forward to our continued partnership. “

Headquartered in Galway with offices in Dublin and Sligo, Intuity Technologies delivers Managed IT and Managed Print Services,  IT & data security solutions and IT business solutions to clients across multiple sectors throughout Ireland.

If you are interested in beginning your Digital Transformation journey, contact Intuity Technologies today at

With a growth in the number of girls playing rugby in Connacht, we are delighted to announce the Connacht Rugby’s Women’s U18’s and Women’s Senior Coaches.

Ross Mannion has been appointed Head Coach of the Connacht Rugby Senior Women’s Team, sponsored by Genesys, accompanied by Lyndon Jones as Backs Coach.

Ross was Head Coach of the AIL 2C winning Sligo team, he has worked with Connacht Rugby as a Club and Community Rugby Officer for 10 years and in his current position as Rugby Participation Officer for 2 years.

“I’m delighted with the opportunity to take on this position, I`ve worked with some of the current players many years ago when some of them were starting out on their pathway and have got to know some more through various programs they`ve delivered on these past two years.

The main things that have stood out for me, from these interactions, are their commitment to rugby, be that for club, province or country, and the appetite to learn and better themselves as players. Two fantastic characteristics to have in life never mind in a sporting context, so that really intrigued me as to what the potential is with in the current U18, Emerging Talent and Senior squads.

I hope myself along with all the coaches involved can help all these players reach their potential and fulfil their rugby ambitions or goals.”

Fraser Gow returns as Head Coach of the Connacht Rugby U18’s Team, sponsored by GMIT, alongside Luke O’Donnell as Backs Coach. Fraser expressed his excitement of returning to training and getting back to normal, “First and foremost we are really excited about a return to training, having the ability to get back out on a pitch and un-pause the plans we have in place.”

“It’s fantastic to see examples of players that have been developed by our clubs, progressed through the Connacht pathways and are now playing at the highest level. That is something we should all be extremely proud of but equally motivates us to aid the development of the next crop of talented players out there.”

As Connacht Rugby continue their partnership with Galway-based sports technology services company Clubforce, their Emerging Talent Programme helps bridge the gap between underage and senior level women’s rugby in Connacht.

Clubforce Emerging Talent Head Coach, Emer O’Dowd, is joined by Mary Healy, who has been appointed, Backs, Skills and Attack’s Coach.

Mary Healy adds that despite restrictions, Connacht Rugby aim for this year’s programme to be the most comprehensive yet.

“Every year we’ve always tried to improve and push what we can do in the summer programme. Despite restrictions, we aim for this to be the most comprehensive yet.”

“I’m delighted to be involved with the Clubforce Emerging Talent Squad, I’m looking forward to helping bridge that gap between underage & senior, keeping girls in the game, growing and developing their skills and knowledge so they can take that step up to senior level. My goal and Clubforce’s goal ultimately is to grow participation, this partnership gives us the opportunity to bridge that gap, keep girls in the game and grow and develop them as rugby players.”

Speaking on the appointed coaching team this year, Joe Gorham Head of Domestic Rugby at Connacht Rugby said:

“Absolutely delighted with the appointment of Ross Mannion as Head Coach of the Connacht Women’s Team. Ross, a valued member of the Club & Community team, has an impressive coaching CV built up in the past few seasons and I look forward to seeing him (and his coaching team) bringing the Senior squad to another level.

I am also delighted on the re-appointment of Fraser Gow and his Coaching Team to the Connacht Under 18 Girls squad. Under his leadership, we have made tremendous progress at this level and it is refreshing to see so many young talented girls coming through to the Connacht side from the 4 corners of the 5 counties!

It is fabulous to see that the Clubforce Emerging Talent Programme is ready to get up and running again under the safe hands of Emer O’Dowd and Mary Healy. This sector is vital to the Player Pathway programme for the Women’s Game and huge thanks must go to our valued partners Clubforce for supporting the Talent Programme.

Finally special thanks to our Volunteer Managers of the three squads Natalie Fox & Mark (Barney) Moran. Without their help and assistance, and indeed their passion for Connacht Rugby in general, we would not have made the huge strides that we have made in the past few seasons. Volunteers are the backbone of everything we do in Club & Community. Thank you to every club & school volunteer, we really appreciate all you do for us.”


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