Mini rugby teams invade Aviva Stadium for festival

Armagh under-10's at Aviva Stadium
Armagh under-10's at Aviva Stadium

Mini rugby teams from Ulster had a day to remember when they were chosen to play at the Aviva Stadium May 17 in the Aviva National Mini Rugby Festival.

The National Festival was held in the home of Irish Rugby, the Aviva Stadium, for the first time and the 20 U-10 clubs were picked at random from 240 clubs across the country who got the opportunity to play where players, like Brian O’Driscoll, Peter O’Mahony and Jamie Heaslip, have played.

The initiative has been developed to give the players the chance to develop their skills on a pitch that has been graced by some of the world’s greatest rugby players in the past 12 months.

Ulster teams that were fortunate to be picked included City of Armagh, Larne, Strabane, Monaghan and Letterkenny.

Former Irish and Munster played David Wallace was on hand on the day to give his tips and advice to who may be the future stars of Irish rugby. Each of the competitors on the day received a certificate of participation signed by Irish Internationals Brian O’Driscoll, Peter O’Mahony and Jamie Heaslip.

Mark Russell, Aviva Sponsorship Manager, said; “Aviva Stadium is home to national and international sporting teams but it is our grassroots programmes like the Mini Rugby Festivals that are the heart and soul of the sponsorship for us. These festivals are a fantastic opportunity to bring the future of Irish rugby onto the pitch at the Stadium to get their very first taste of what it might be like to play for their country.

“We are really excited to welcome the 20 teams to the home of Irish Rugby for the very first time on what will be a day full of positive energy.”

Hendrik Kruger, IRFU Age Grade Manager said, “The ethos of Mini Rugby is to foster and develop young players of all ability in the game of rugby in a safe, non-competition, enjoyable environment through activities which ensure progressive skill development for all participants in line with the

IRFU LTPD pathway.”