As announced earlier this summer, the following global law trials will apply to all rugby competitions beginning on or after 1st August 2021.
 
50:22: If the team in possession kicks the ball from inside their own half indirectly into touch inside their opponents’ 22, they will throw into the resultant lineout. The ball cannot be passed or carried back into the defensive half for the 50:22 to be played. The phase must originate inside the defensive half.
 
Goal line drop-out: If the ball is held up in in-goal, there is a knock-on from an attacking player in in-goal or an attacking kick is grounded by the defenders in their own in-goal, then play restarts with a goal line drop-out anywhere along the goal line.
 
Flying Wedge: To sanction the three person pre-bound mini-scrum by redefining the flying wedge.
 
1 man latch: To recognise the potential for 1-player pre-latching prior to contact, but this player must observe all of the requirements for a first arriving player, particularly the need to stay on their feet.
 
Cleanout and safety of the Jackler: To introduce a sanction for clean outs which target or drop weight onto the lower limbs.
 

CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER INFO AND EXAMPLES OF THE NEW LAWS IN ACTION

The Government of Ireland have announced that new public health measures are coming into place in April.
 
From April 26th, “underage non-contact outdoor training in pods of 15 can recommence for all exercise activities outdoors , subject to public health advice at the time.”
 
Provisionally, this means only under age sections clubs and schools in the Republic of Ireland will be able to offer non-contact rugby training from that date.
 
All clubs and schools who wish to resume rugby must have and up-to-date COVID-19 Safety Plan – No Plan, No Play.
 
On March 23rd, the IRFU and provinces facilitated a #ReadyForRugby Support Webinar on considerations for updating COVID-19 Safety Plans.
 
A recording of this webinar can be viewed at https://youtu.be/9nQM_q7UBM8
 
Following clarification from Sport NI and the NI Executive, clubs in Northern Ireland can resume outdoor training in distinct groups of 15 (inclusive of players and coaches) from April 12th.
 
Further information on permitted activities will be issued to all clubs and schools in due course.
 
More #ReadyForRugby information can be viewed at https://www.irishrugby.ie/running-your-club/return-to-rugby-for-clubs/
 
Additional upcoming webinars may assist your club or school in preparing for a resumption of rugby.
 
#ReadyForRugby Support Webinar 4: An Introduction To Coaching Touch Rugby
 
Time: Thursday 1st April 2021, 13:00 – 13:30
 
Registration Link: http://bit.ly/RFR-Web-4
 
Presenters:
 
Billy Ngawini (Ireland Touch Association)
IRFU COVID-19 Project Team
Suitable For:
 
Adult & Age-Grade Coaches
Team Managers
Club Officers & Volunteers
This webinar is designed to help clubs and schools who want to know more about touch rugby as an offering to players for skill development, fitness and fun. It will provide an overview of resources available for first-time coaches of touch rugby.
 
#ReadyForRugby Support Webinar 5: RugbyConnect Refresher For Administrators
 
Time: Tuesday 6th April 2021, 13:00 – 13:30
 
Registration Link: http://bit.ly/RFR-Web-5
 
Presenters:
 
Lucy Mulhall (IRFU)
Suitable For:
 
Club and School Administrators
Club Officers & Volunteers
RugbyConnect is the IRFU’s online administration system for clubs and schools. This webinar will walk through updates to the system and help refresh knowledge for clubs and schools ahead of any return to rugby activity.

Connacht Rugby partners, Clubforce, are hosting a Webinar on Wednesday 10th June on the topic of ‘Fundraising in a Virtual World’, something that has become very relevant over the last few months.
 
Clubforce would like to share their wealth of experience and support in this area with all Connacht Clubs. We encourage a member of your club to attend online to gain some invaluable knowledge for future fundraising.
 
Clubforce: Fundraising in a Virtual World Webinar
Date: Wednesday 10th June
Time: 7 PM
Registration link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7314591670880317196
 
“While some clubs have frozen their fundraising activity and are waiting for “things to return to normal”, more and more clubs are recognising that we will have to adjust to a new normal and are accelerating their online fundraising efforts in anticipation of a return to sports participation in the near future. The old reliable ways of fundraising through in-person, cash-based fundraisers have become a thing of the past”.
 
“Clubforce offers clubs the flexibility to handle virtually any fundraising effort with ease online. We provide a range of alternative ways of generating revenue for your club from members and supporters at home and abroad. All fundraising activity is made easier with the Clubforce app, designed to make it easier to raise funds and manage member data from one complete club management system”.
 
In this webinar, Clubforce will look at
– Examples of current Club fundraisers on our system
– Communicating with your members with new fundraisers
– How to utilise the Clubforce App to promote sales

Following yesterday’s statement from the IRFU, Connacht Rugby wishes to reaffirm that the decision to conclude the 2019/20 season applies immediately to all domestic rugby within Connacht Rugby.
 
As is the case with the Men’s and Women’s Energia All-Ireland Leagues, there will be no promotion or relegation in the respective Connacht Rugby Leagues for 2019/20. All teams will remain in the leagues they are currently in for 2020/21.
 
In the respective Cup competitions where the two finalists are known, the cups will be shared with the two teams who have reached the final. In particular, this applies to the Connacht Junior Cup.
 
This also applies to the respective Connacht Schools competitions as there were a number of cups & leagues outstanding.
 
In total 69 leagues and cups were held across Adult, Schools and Youth Rugby. Of those competitions:
25 competitions have been completed with one winner.
15 competitions have ended with shared winners, based on the criteria set out by the IRFU Rugby Committee.
25 competitions have been declared incomplete.
4 competitions are listed as non-competitive.
 
The final status of each competition is listed below. While Connacht Rugby shares in the deep disappointment of the Club & Schools rugby community that the season was unable to conclude, we are fully supportive of the decision by the IRFU to put the physical welfare of our rugby community above all else.
 
We would encourage every member of our Clubs & Schools to continue to adhere to the advice of the HSE and the Irish Government in relation to the current COVID-19 outbreak, particularly with regards to social distancing at all ages.
 
Never before has the sense of community been more important to all of us. Please continue to look out for the vulnerable people within your localities and above, stay safe.
 
CONNACHT RUGBY COMPETITIONS CONCLUSION 2019/20
 
ADULT RUGBY

Women’s League – Westport RFC
Women’s Invitational Plate – Westport RFC 2nd XV
Women’s Invitational Bowl – Ballinasloe RFC
Women’s Cup – Incomplete

Senior League – Sligo RFC
Senior Cup – Sligo RFC
Cawley Cup – Creggs RFC
Curley Cup – Ballinasloe RFC & Corrib RFC shared
Ard na Cregg Cup – Incomplete
Junior Cup – Connemara RFC & Castlebar RFC shared
Junior Plate – Tuam RFC & Westport RFC shared
J1A League – Incomplete (Won by Connemara RFC prior to conclusion)
J1B League – Incomplete
J1C League – Incomplete
J2 League – Portumna RFC & Westport RFC 2nd XV shared
 
SCHOOLS RUGBY

Girls Junior 10s League – Incomplete
Girls Senior 10s League – Incomplete

U14 A League – Incomplete
U14 B League – Athlone CC
U14 C League – Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin
Junior A League – CBS Roscommon
Junior B League – Athlone CC
Junior C League – Gort CS
Senior A League – Sligo Grammar
Senior B League – St. Muredach’s College
Senior C League – Gallen CS

Junior A Cup – CBS Roscommon
Junior B Cup – Athlone CC & Coláiste Éinde shared
Junior C Cup – Enniscrone & Sancta Maria shared
Senior A Cup – Garbally College
Senior B Cup – St. Muredach’s College
Senior C Cup – St. Joseph’s Foxford & Gallen CS shared
 
YOUTH RUGBY

U14 Girls Div. 1 – Non-competitive
U14 Girls Div. 2 – Non-competitive
U16 Girls Div. 1 – Claremorris RFC
U16 Girls Div. 2 – Corinthians RFC & Westport RFC shared
U18 Girls Div. 1 – Ballinasloe RFC & Connemara RFC shared
U18 Girls Div. 2 – Corinthians RFC & Portumna RFC shared

U13 Boys Div. 1 – Non-competitive
U13 Boys Div. 2 – Non-competitive
U14 Boys Div. 1 – Buccaneers RFC (Black team)
U14 Boys Div. 2 – Ballinasloe RFC
U14 Boys Div. 3 – Gort RFC & NUIG RFC shared
U15 Boys Div. 1 – Sligo RFC
U15 Boys Div. 2 – Ballinasloe RFC
U16 Boys Div. 1 – Creggs RFC & Corinthians RFC shared
U16 Boys Div. 2 – Incomplete
U17 Boys Div. 1 – Ballina RFC
U17 Boys Div. 2 – Corrib RFC
U18.5 Boys Div. 1 – Ballinasloe RFC
U18.5 Boys Div. 2 – Corrib RFC & Westport RFC shared

U14 Girls Cup – Ballinasloe RFC & Creggs RFC shared
U14 Girls Plate – Incomplete
U16 Girls Cup – Ballina RFC & Claremorris RFC shared
U16 Girls Plate – Incomplete
U18 Girls Cup – Incomplete
U18 Girls Plate – Incomplete

U13 Boys Cup – Incomplete
U13 Boys Plate – Incomplete
U14 Boys Cup – Incomplete
U14 Boys Plate – Incomplete
U15 Boys Cup – Incomplete
U15 Boys Plate – Incomplete
U16 Boys Cup – Incomplete
U16 Boys Plate – Incomplete
U17 Boys Cup – Incomplete
U17 Boys Plate – Incomplete
U18.5 Boys Cup – Incomplete
U18.5 Boys Plate – Incomplete

Irish Rugby’s 2019/20 domestic season is to conclude with immediate effect due to ongoing concerns over coronavirus.
 
Government action in combatting the virus looks set to continue beyond March 29th. Irish Rugby wants to play its part while giving clubs the chance to put plans in place for the 2020/21 season.
 
The directive applies to all incomplete national and provincial competitions. It was ratified by the IRFU Rugby Committee on Thursday March 19th 2020.
 
Cups will be shared by finalists, where cup competitions have reached the final fixture.
 
There will be no promotion or relegation in any of the five divisions of the Energia Men’s All-Ireland League.
 
The planned expansion of the Energia Women’s All-Ireland League for the 2020/21 season remains in place.
 
There will be no league or cup winners in any competition organised at a national level including the Energia All-Ireland Leagues, Energia Women’s All-Ireland Cup and the Energia Bateman Cup.
 
The Fraser McMullen U20 Cup, the Junior Interprovincial Championships and the round-robin qualifiers for the Energia All-Ireland League will not take place.
 
Speaking about the announcement, IRFU Director of Rugby Development Colin McEntee said:
 
“The decision to end the domestic rugby season for 2019/2020 season has not been made lightly. All options were discussed and the IRFU is satisfied it has arrived at the only equitable solution.
 
These are challenging times for us all and we know clubs will be impacted by this directive, but we will look back at this season as one where we put the physical welfare of our rugby community above all else.
 
Clubs are now in a position to make plans for the 2020/21 season. We look forward to marking the 30th anniversary of the All-Ireland League.”

The Irish Rugby Football Union, together with Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster Rugby have announced the suspension of all Domestic Rugby activity from 6pm this evening 12th March until the 29th March (inclusive), in response to the latest Government advice on the Coronavirus (Covid – 19) pandemic.
 
Future Domestic Rugby activity will be reviewed in line with government advice.
 
Training and Playing
All Rugby activities across Clubs and Schools , from minis to adult rugby, must now cease.
 
Clubhouse Operations:
While Rugby Clubs may wish to continue to operate facilities such as bars and function-rooms they must observe government restrictions in relation to the number of people that may attend indoor (no more than 100 people) and outdoor (no more than 500 people) events.
 
Impact on fixtures of note:
We will work with clubs and schools to rearrange fixtures.
 
Professional Game:
Updates, when available, in relation to the professional game will come from tournament organizers.

The Association of Referees, Connacht Branch, in conjunction with Connacht Rugby and the IRFU recently held two courses for new referees.
 
The course gives participants an insight in to what is involved in becoming a referee with Connacht Rugby, outlines the benefits of being a member of the ARCB and gives an introduction to the key elements of successful refereeing.
 
Over the course of the weekend of the 6th & 7th of September fourteen prospective new referees attended the courses in Claremorris and Galway.
 
Led by IRFU Referee Development Manager Peter Fitzgibbon, supported by various members of the ARCB, those attending were given an opportunity to learn about the process of qualifying as a referee, player safety and welfare, planning & preparation, communication skills and on-field referee positioning.
 
Technical elements covered on the course include refereeing the scrum and the role of the touch judge.
 
Thanks to ARCB members Jason Craughwell (President), Paul Cronin, Paul Gannon, Joe O’Donnell, Jason Cairns, John Martin (Secretary), Claire Toolan, Katie Kilbane and Mossy Moran for their contribution to the weekend. Connacht Rugby wishes those that attended the very best in their refereeing careers.
 
For further information on how to become a referee in Connacht go to www.arcb.ie or contact Referee Development Manager, Peter Fitzgibbon (086-8322987 or [email protected]).
 

Two courses will take place in the next few weeks for those who wish to become qualified affiliate referees for the next four seasons.
 
The courses will take place on Creggs National School on Wednesday 18th September, and The Sportsground on Wednesday 9th October, with both courses starting at 7pm.
 
It is essential for those wishing to attend to register in advance here.
 
Here’s all you need to know about becoming an affiliate referee…
 
What are affiliate referees?
Club & school affiliate referees are not branch referees. Club and school affiliate referees are defined as adult persons (Aged 18 to 59). They are club or school members who are qualified to referee matches involving their own club or school where no Branch referee is available or has not been appointed.

They usually referee underage games and provide an important function in servicing the game at this level in their club or school.
 
Who appoints Club & School Affiliate Referees?
The responsibility for their appointment lies solely with their club or school.
 
Are they members of a Branch Referees Society or Association?
No, they are entirely separate. Club and school affiliate referees are a refereeing resource within their own club or school and have no involvement with their branch referee association / society.
 
Can affiliate referees affiliate to more than one club or school?
No, affiliate referees can only affiliate to one club and one school.
 
What games can they referee?
They are appointed by their club or school. They can only referee games involving their own club or school, home or away.

Last Saturday NUIG student Mikey Kerin was named an honorary member of the Association of Referees Connacht Branch (ARCB), in recognition of his growing ability as a rugby referee.
 
Mikey is a regular visitor to the inclusion rugby mornings in Corinthians RFC every Saturday. While he is a keen player himself, in the past few years he has turned his attention to becoming the man in the middle.
 
To the surprise of Mikey, he received a visit from the ARCB Vice President Jason Craughwell who announced to the attendees of Mikey’s membership to the ARCB in light of his good work.
 
There Mikey was presented with his official ARCB referee jersey, his own book with red and yellow cards, and the all-important whistle. He was then able to put it to good use when he refereed the tag rugby game amongst the inclusion rugby players that morning.
 
Congratulations on your membership Mikey, we look forward to seeing you run the rule on some games in the future!
 

 

Fancy becoming a referee?

The Association of Referees Connacht Branch are holding a one day course tomorrow for people who want to get involved.

Several hours training will cover key areas of the modern game and participants may apply on completion for membership with Connacht’s Referee Association (ARCB).

ARCB are particularly keen to see more women looking to become referees through the Women’s Rugby Pathway Programme.

Tailored to encourage former players wishing to return to the women’s rugby fold, the programme seeks to streamline female referee development and progress through women’s rugby channels. 

Eager officials could learn, practice and develop free from any obligation to officiate boys or mens rugby, but avail every opportunity to ply their skills across the board if they wish.

“This new pathway programme lets women contribute to the growth of women’s rugby from within that women’s rugby comfort zone,” says Katie Kilbane of the ARCB.

“Often it’s a perceived lack of experience which prevents many of provincial Ireland’s greatest players from contributing further upon retirement.”

The course for both male and female applicants takes place on Saturday, September 8th from 09:30 to 16:00 at The Connacht Hotel, Galway (Old Dublin Road).

Further information available by email: [email protected] or [email protected].

When: Saturday 8th September, 9.30am – 4pm
Where: The Connacht Hotel, Old Dublin Road, Galway
RSVP and Further Info: [email protected]

 

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