Connacht Rugby in partnership with BLK Sport, have revealed their new ‘Home’ jersey  as part of their kit launch for the 2021/22 season.

The jersey is made with BLK’s Tricool Exotek fabric throughout the main body, together with Lycra panelling. Tricool Exotek has been created exclusively for BLK to enhance athlete performance, whilst at the same time allowing for maximum player maneuverability.

The design of the new ‘Home’ jersey features the formation of interlocking triangles across the body, the shape of which represents Connacht Rugby’s values of Ambition, Belief and Community. The jersey also features BLK’s unique silicon gel logo application and new BLK collar detail. The jersey will be worn when Connacht Rugby compete in the newly formed United Rugby Championship this coming year.

Commenting on the unveiling of the new jerseys, Head of Commercial and Marketing at Connacht Rugby Philip Patterson said:

We are really excited about the launch of our ‘Home’ kit for the 2021/22 season. At Connacht Rugby, our values are extremely important to us and so to be able to incorporate a shape in the jersey design which reflects and represents our values of Ambition, Belief and Community, makes it very special. The team at BLK have done a great job in bringing this to life in such an eye-catching way, meaning that every time a player or fan pulls on a jersey, they really will be sharing in the ‘Connacht Way’”.

Commenting on the new Connacht Rugby Home jersey, Bruce Wood, Head of Brand Ireland at BLK Sport, said:

We are delighted to be launching the new Connacht rugby ‘Home’ kit featuring BLK’s latest on field developments. We have worked hard with Connacht management to deliver a range both the players and fans will be excited about. We look forward to seeing the players take to the field in the new United Rugby Championship”.

The full Connacht Rugby range for the 2021/22 season is exclusively available for pre-order from Official Retail Partner Intersport Elverys, at Elverys.ie from Friday 30th July at 9.00am and will be in-store from Friday 6th August.

Follow this link to go to the Elverys website https://bit.ly/3icaiMR

 

Next season there’ll be a new-look Season Plan for our Youths & Schools players.

Some of our Club & Community team have been explaining the changes, and why our next generation will benefit from it.

A summary of the video below:

Structural Changes:

  • Activities are structured into 6-7 months, allowing players to play more regularly
  • Introduction of a mid-season break (6/7 weeks)
  • Additional structures added, end of season festivals, participation games and talent development blocks

End of Season Festivals:

  • Takes place at final stages for clubs and schools
  • Allows inclusion for players who are not involved in cups or plates

Participation Games:

  • 5 participation games have been introduced into next season, bringing more regular games
  • Allows inclusion for all players and gives everyone a chance to have fun and experiment with their skills

In Connacht there’s #StrengthInCommunity #GrassrootsToGreenShirts

Click the button below to be directed to our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to subscribe for more videos like this!

 

 

[VIDEO] New Season Changes for Youth and School

 

After a well needed break the Connacht Rugby team have returned to the Sportsground for Pre Season Training. With good weather to welcome them back, we also welcomed some new faces to training.

Check out the gallery below:

 

The fixtures have been announced for the 2021 Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Championship.

 

The format returns to a round-robin format over three weekends for this year. First up, on August 28th, reigning champions Leinster travel to the Sportsground to face Connacht in a repeat of the 2019 Championship decider. Kingspan Stadium will host Ulster’s home game against Munster on the same day.

 

Munster’s home tie is against Connacht at Musgrave Park while Leinster return to Energia Park to face Ulster in Round 2 on September 4th.

 

The Championship trophy will be lifted for the first time since 2019 on Saturday September 11th’s final round with Connacht hosting Ulster and Leinster welcoming Munster to Donnybrook.

 

IRFU Women’s Development Manager Amanda Greensmith commented:

 

“Preparations are in full swing across the provinces and we’re really looking forward to seeing the return of what is a blue riband event for Irish Rugby.

 

“There’s a full cohort of players who missed on the chance to represent their province last year. It’s a priority for us to get players back onto the performance pathway and on the back of the #NothingLikeIt launch and some additional plans in the works, we’re on our way to ensuring an all-time high for visibility of this event.”

 

Anne O’Leary, CEO of Vodafone Ireland commented:

 

‘Vodafone has been the proud sponsor of Irish Rugby since 2016 and our #TeamOfUs campaign is aimed at growing the game of rugby and promoting inclusion for all.  With that in mind we are delighted this year to support the Vodafone Women’s Interprovincial Championship.  Everyone In!’

 

Saturday August 28th 2021

Connacht v Leinster, The Sportsground, 14:30

Ulster v Munster, Kingspan Stadium, 17:00

 

Saturday September 4th 2021

Munster v Connacht, Musgrave Park, 14:30

Leinster v Ulster, Energia Park, 16:00

 

Saturday September 11th 2021

Connacht v Ulster, The Sportsground, 14:30

Leinster v Munster, Energia Park, 19:00

There are new coaching setups for all four provinces in 2021.

Neill Alcorn has been appointed Head Coach in Ulster, with former Ulster scrum-half, Paul Marshall taking up the Backs Coach role. Paul Heasley will be the Athletic Development Lead for the squad, while Emily Millar has been appointed Team Manager.

Click here for Ulster Women’s squad training gallery.

Munster Rugby Senior Women’s Head Coach for the campaign is Old Crescent and Crescent College Comprehensive coach Matt Brown. Former Ireland captain and current UL Bohs Women’s Head Coach Niamh Briggs is the Backs Coach with ex-Munster prop Mike Storey assuming the position of Forwards Coach. Munster Rugby Women’s Development Officer Willie Shubart is the side’s Technical Coach with UL Bohs forward Sara Hartigan taking the position of Team Manager having previously held that role with the U18s.

Click here for Extended Munster Senior Women’s Squad

In Leinster, Phil de Barra replaces outgoing head coach Ben Armstrong, and is joined for 2021 by forwards coach Tom McKeown, backs coach Stephen Maher and skills coach Ben Watson. Lorna Quinn and Marie Louise Reilly will look after team management.

Click here for 2021 Extended Leinster Women’s Rugby Squad

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

Click here for Connacht Women’s Rugby Coaching & Management announcement.

Connacht Senior Women

Head Coach: Ross Mannion

Backs Coach: Lyndon Jones

Team Manager: Mark Moran

 

Leinster Senior Women

 

Head Coach: Phil De Barra

Assistant Coach: Tom McKeown

Team Manager: Lorna Quinn   Manager

Assistant Team Manager: Marie Louise Reilly

 

Munster Senior Women

 

Head Coach: Matt Brown

Forwards Coach: Mike Storey

Backs Coach: Niamh Briggs

Technical Coach: Willie Shubart

Team Manager: Sara Hartigan

 

Ulster Senior Women:

Head Coach: Neill Alcorn

Backs Coach: Paul Marshall

Team Manager: Emily Millar

Athletic Development Lead: Paul Heasley

 

 

 

 

We are delighted to see IRFU #GiveItATry Programme back this summer. There are 12 clubs running in Connacht and this is an ideal opportunity for girls, aged 8-14, that have no experience to give rugby a try in a fun and safe environment. The Give It A Try programme has been instrumental in the success of clubs starting girls mini and youth clubs all over the country.

 

The 8-week programme consists of a coach education element, fun rugby sessions, and teaching the girls the basics of rugby.

 

Check the link below to find out what clubs in Connacht are taking part. Some of the clubs will be kicking off on the 26th of July, so make sure to register.

 

 

https://www.irishrugby.ie/playing-the-game/women/give-it-a-try/summer2021/

 

Here at Connacht Rugby have recently commenced our 10-week Summer Player Talent programme on the campus of our partners GMIT for Under 18 Boys & Girls; Under 19 Boys & Senior Women’s levels.

Check out some snaps below of the recent training session for the U19 Boys team.

 

The Connacht Rugby Total Health Summer Camps have returned. Sligo RFC is the first club in Connacht to get back into action and you can certainly see everyone was excited to get back playing and having fun. Check out some of the great photos taken from yesterdays summer camp in Sligo RFC.

 

 

 

Start dates for the Energia All-Ireland League have been announced for the 2021/22 season while the competition structures for both the men’s and women’s competitions have also been confirmed.

The format was agreed by the IRFU Rugby Committee following ongoing dialogue with participating clubs.

Energia Women’s All-Ireland League:

  • Kicks off weekend of September 25th 2021
  • Expanded to 10 teams
  • 9-game regular season for all 10 teams*
  • Top 4will then play six matches in a home and away round robin followed by playoffs for Energia Women’s All-Ireland League title*
  • Teams placed 5-10 will play afive-match round-robin, followed by playoffs for separate trophy*
  • No promotion/relegation for 2021/22 or 2022/23 season
  • Continued IRFU support for clubs with long term development

 

*2021/22 Season Only

 

Energia Men’s All-Ireland League

  • Kicks off weekend of October 2nd 2021
  • Five All-Ireland League divisions retained
  • 18-game regular season for all 50 teams based on majority of clubs’ preference
  • Promotion/relegation reinstated
  • COVID-19 impact contingencies in place

 

The Energia Women’s All-Ireland League will lead the return of national club competitions when it kicks off on the weekend of September 25th 2021. It will be a newly expanded 10-team league as announced in December 2019, meaning Ballincollig and Wicklow will finally get to take their place in an All-Ireland competition.

The format will be modified for the 2021/22 season to assist the development of participating teams and help manage the return to rugby. The regular season will be reduced from 18 games to 9 games with the Energia Women’s All-Ireland League to be decided by a Top 4 round-robin leading into semi-finals and a final.

Teams who place 5-10 in the regular season will switch to a six-team round-robin followed by play-offs for a new trophy. The ring-fencing of all 10 participating teams will be retained as planned for the next two seasons as the IRFU continue to support the development and long-term sustainability of participating teams.

The Senior Women’s Interprovincial Championship and U18 Women’s Interprovincial Championship announced this week will conclude two weeks prior to the start of the Women’s AIL.

The Energia Men’s All-Ireland League will kick off on the weekend of October 2nd and will revert to an 18-game regular season for all 50 competing teams with previous promotion and relegation regulations reinstated.

Where any match is impacted by COVID-19, promotion/relegation will switch to a “one up, one down” format. The IRFU Rugby Committee have agreed a series of parameters to manage the impact of COVID-19 throughout the season, which has been shared with clubs.

As per the Rugby Participation Roadmap announced in April, contingencies for localised games remain in place where COVID-19 has a significant impact on the integrity of the competition.

The format of the competition was agreed by the IRFU Rugby Committee based on ongoing dialogue with club representatives via the AIL Forum, where the majority of clubs stated a clear preference to return to the 18-game format last used in the 2019/20 season across the five divisions.

Chair of the IRFU Rugby Committee Greg Barrett welcomed the news.

“This is a really positive step towards meaningful rugby in the 2021/22 season and all 60 participating teams have a firm date to work towards,” he said.

“The IRFU has been actively engaged in a listening exercise with our clubs and the formats we’ve announced are a result of this. Clubs in the men’s competition have stated a clear preference for an 18-game regular season and we’re all agreed that promotion and relegation is integral to the competition and must be decided on the field of play.”

“The women’s competition is at a different stage in its journey. We’ve seen from recent coaching announcements how exciting the season is going to be and the one-off format for this season will give all teams a chance to benchmark their development with meaningful competitive games.”

“These formats will facilitate the recovery of our clubs as we continue to calculate the cost of the epidemic to our domestic game and the rugby pathway and we remain ready and willing to adapt and evolve to ensure the long-term sustainability of our clubs.”

The Vodafone Senior Women’s Interprovincial Championship and PwC U18 Women’s Interprovincial Championship are to make a welcome return in 2021.

 

Both competitions will kick off on the weekend of August 28th, having been unable to take place in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

 

The Senior Women’s Interprovincial Championship will take place on three successive weekends – August 28th, September 4th and September 11th.

 

Each team will play each other once, with the trophy being decided by league format. Games will be hosted by the provinces with fixtures to be confirmed in due course.

 

This will be the first Senior Women’s Interprovincial Championship officially sponsored by Vodafone Ireland after the announcement of their extended partnership with Irish Rugby in September 2019

 

The U18 Women’s Interprovincial Championship will also take place on the weekends of August 28th, September 4th and September 11th with the same competition format.

 

These games will be at a centralised location to assist with talent identification. PwC were announced as official sponsors of the U18 Women’s Interprovincial Championship in January 2020.

 

The competition’s return will kickstart the recovery of the female game and precede the restart of a revamped Energia Women’s All-Ireland League.

 

The Interpro Series present a significant development opportunity for emerging talent who have had extremely limited access to the game over the past 18 months. The modified format will also provide an opportunity to young players who are now too old to play age-grade representative rugby, having missed their opportunity during the pandemic.

 

Ireland Women’s Development Manager Amanda Greensmith told IrishRugby.ie:

 

“It’s exciting looking ahead to the 2021/22 season and the different elements of the season calendar coming back and offering opportunities for female players to express themselves on the pitch.

 

This is a huge year for women’s rugby, the Ireland squad is targeting Rugby World Cup qualification, the Energia AIL returns in an exciting new format and the Interprovincial Championships will offer fledgling talent a taste of provincial rugby.  There are so many things to be positive about as we return to competitive action.”

 

Full fixture details for the Senior Women’s Interprovincial Championship and the U18 Women’s Interprovincial Championship will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Vodafone Senior Women’s Interprovincial Championship and PwC U18 Women’s Interprovincial Championship are to make a welcome return in 2021.

 

Both competitions will kick off on the weekend of August 28th, having been unable to take place in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

 

The Senior Women’s Interprovincial Championship will take place on three successive weekends – August 28th, September 4th and September 11th.

 

Each team will play each other once, with the trophy being decided by league format. Games will be hosted by the provinces with fixtures to be confirmed in due course.

 

This will be the first Senior Women’s Interprovincial Championship officially sponsored by Vodafone Ireland after the announcement of their extended partnership with Irish Rugby in September 2019

 

The U18 Women’s Interprovincial Championship will also take place on the weekends of August 28th, September 4th and September 11th with the same competition format.

 

These games will be at a centralised location to assist with talent identification. PwC were announced as official sponsors of the U18 Women’s Interprovincial Championship in January 2020.

 

The competition’s return will kickstart the recovery of the female game and precede the restart of a revamped Energia Women’s All-Ireland League.

The Interpro Series present a significant development opportunity for emerging talent who have had extremely limited access to the game over the past 18 months. The modified format will also provide an opportunity to young players who are now too old to play age-grade representative rugby, having missed their opportunity during the pandemic.

 

Ireland Women’s Development Manager Amanda Greensmith told IrishRugby.ie:

 

“It’s exciting looking ahead to the 2021/22 season and the different elements of the season calendar coming back and offering opportunities for female players to express themselves on the pitch.

 

This is a huge year for women’s rugby, the Ireland squad is targeting Rugby World Cup qualification, the Energia AIL returns in an exciting new format and the Interprovincial Championships will offer fledgling talent a taste of provincial rugby.  There are so many things to be positive about as we return to competitive action.”

 

Full fixture details for the Senior Women’s Interprovincial Championship and the U18 Women’s Interprovincial Championship will be announced in the coming weeks.

ARRIVE – PLAY – DEPART

As we approach a return to club and school matches, allowed from the 7th June. This document provides further guidance to clubs and schools looking to organise friendly fixtures. 

This document provides further guidance to clubs and schools looking to organise friendly fixtures from 7 June. After such a long period of restrictions, it will be great to see the return of matches however, we must remain cautious in our approach to the organisation and management of fixtures. Clubs and schools should look to minimise risk where possible.

Click the link below to read the full document:

Connacht Ready – Guiding Principles for Matches

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