Three young Ardee Community School rugby players featured for the inaugural Louth Rugby 7s selection at Donnybrook Stadium on Wednesday – helping their county to the final of the pilot event.
James Reilly and Donal McKenny who both featured in the school’s recent McMullen Cup defeat to Good Counsel at the Donnybrook venue were joined by Ciaran Keenan to be part of the 14-strong squad made up of school players from Ardee, Dundalk and Drogheda.
Performing well, the Louth team won their opening two games against Meath and then Fingal before they were narrowly beaten by a strong Wesley College outfit in the final.
The blitz, run by Leinster Rugby and the IRFU, was a pilot scheme run as the associations look at the possibility of introducing 7s Rugby to schools.
A variation of the 15-aside game, 7s rugby is played on a full pitch – but halves last just seven minutes and only seven players make up each team. It is aimed at opening up the space on the pitch for attacking, end-to-end rugby. Transition Year students from schools in Louth, Meath and Fingal made up the teams for their respective counties at the tournament while Dublin schools like Castleknock and Wesley College entered their own sides.
The county sides and school side initally faced off against eachother – with Louth earning 19-12 and 24-10 victories over Meath and Fingal before they succumbed 15-7 to Wesley College. Open not merely to rugby players but players from all sports, the 14- man Louth team had four rugby players, three GAA players (and an additional two that players that represent their county) and three soccer players as well as a boxer and a tennis player.
Reilly, McKenny and Keenan – attended a blitz in Dundalk with Ardee Community School on Tuesday March 14th and players were selected from there to attend training in the run up to the blitz in Donnybrook yesterday.
Photos: Ardee Rugby Club