By John O’Sullivan


Connacht Rugby’s Learn To Perform webinar series, in association with Official Partner GMIT, kicked off last Monday night. 


In line with the current governmental COVID restrictions, Connacht Rugby is bringing the presentations to participants homes, via a series of online webinars. Previously, underage groups would have been brought to the Sportsground for the Learn to Perform talks, but — adapting to the ongoing restrictions — the informational sessions have and will now take place online.


Monday night’s topic was on Nutrition for 11 to 14-year-old rugby players and their parents. Gavin Rackard, lead performance nutritionist with Connacht Rugby, presented on the night, while Stephen Keirns and Nichola Fryday — players with the men’s and’s women’s senior teams respectively —  were also guest’s and talked about the importance of nutrition in their day to day lives in order to perform at the highest level.


Ross Mannion, Rugby Participation Officer (RPO) with Connacht Rugby, the organiser of the series, was delighted with the response and the number of interested parties logging on. The feedback received from parents, some of whom who have immediately taken on board the advice received during the webinar, was also positive. In total, between coaches, players and parents, there was over 100 people logged into the webinar.


“We had over 100 players, parents, and coaches log in to Monday’s webinar and the interaction from the kids on the night was fantastic, plenty of questions and a desire to learn was clear to see,” the Sligo native said.


“Some parents have been in touch to say how their children already have adopted some of Gavin’s breakfast and lunch suggestions, so we are delighted to have that positive reaction and that it’s all going help with their own development”.


Next up, on Monday the 14th of December at 7 PM, will be the next installment of the Learn To Perform series which will focus on nutrition for 15 to 19-year-old players. Once again, Rackard will present on the night, and invites will be sent out to all clubs youth coordinators.


There will, however, be a limited number of places on the webinar left and interested parties can sign up via the following link:


For people who cannot attend the webinar — some groups in those age groups may have club or PTS training — there will be the access granted to a recording of the webinar for those interested by contacting  [email protected]






Connacht Rugby have announced the signing of prop Rory Burke from Championship side Nottingham ahead of the 2019/20 season. Burke was previously capped for Munster in the Pro14 championship before joining Nottingham in 2017. The 25 year old has gone on to feature prominently for the championship side.
At international level, Burke represented Ireland at Under 20 level, playing in each of Ireland’s Under 20s Six Nations games in 2014 and in the IRB World Championship later that year.
Connacht have also confirmed that scrum half Stephen Kerins has become the latest player from the Connacht Academy to earn his first professional contract. The Sligo man made his Connacht debut in the European Challenge Cup win away to Bordeaux in January. Kerins was also previously capped for his country at Under 20 international level as he featured in the Under 20 Six Nations Championship in 2016.
Commenting on the latest additions to the Connacht squad, Head Coach Andy Friend said: “We are delighted to add Rory Burke and Stephen Kerins to our squad ahead of our 2019/20 campaign. In the season just gone, squad depth was really important to our success in qualifying for the Champions Cup. With more big games ahead that depth will be tested even further. Rory will give us another option up front, while Stephen’s graduation from the Academy will be needed to add to our list of scrum half options.


Connacht Rugby confirm departing players

Connacht Rugby and GMIT partnership set to make positive impact throughout the West of Ireland

Connacht Rugby and GMIT partnership set to make positive impact throughout the West of Ireland

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Connacht sign prop Rory Burke as Kerins becomes latest Academy graduate

Connacht sign prop Rory Burke as Kerins becomes latest Academy graduate

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