|Digicel Ireland junior rugby trip a success|
|Thursday, 02 August 2012 17:08|
The Digicel Ireland Junior trip to the Leinster Rugby School of Excellence was a huge success with the five junior players returning from Ireland on July 31.
After travelling via London and doing some sightseeing enroute, they made it to Dublin where they were able to experience some Irish culture and look around the Irish capital. After getting emersed in the local sights, they checked into the camp on Sunday night in anticipation of a full-on week of rugby to come.
Monday morning began with the boys playing warm up games that incorporated rugby skills and lots of rugby specific movement, and then progressed into drills designed to improve their lateral passing. Games of touch rugby where the attacking team had an advantage of two extra players were introduced in an effort to encourage the boys to move the ball to players in space. This was continued in the afternoon session, along with some finer points on attacking alignment.
Franco Mompremier greatly impressed the coaches here with his passing skills.
Tuesday morning saw more of the same with warm up games and 2 v 1 and 3 v 2 drills to get the boys to use the ball effectively. A lot of the remainder of Tuesday was spent on evasion drills, where Lincoln Outten and Kenny Mullings were in their element.
One feature that came up after each lunch break was the “Physical literacy,” where the boys were put through upper and lower body drills, core exercises and functional strength work. Luis Turbyfield did very well in these sessions.
The contact finally began on Wednesday to great anticipation. The boys were put through tackling from in front, from the side and from behind the attacker, and all the TCI boys did well with their commitment and technique. Franco, Lincoln and Kenny all put in some impressive hits, Luis’ technique improved over the session, and Preston Burant tackled bravely and heeded the advice of the coaches, who included former British and Irish Lion Eric Miller. Wednesday afternoon saw the boys split up into “positional clinics” which meant Franco and Lincoln learned about loose forward play, Kenny and Preston worked on their outside back positioning and skills, and Luis got stuck into the inside back clinic.
Thursday built on what the boys had worked on the previous day and advanced it further with the coaches instructing them on ways to keep the ball alive once tackled. One of the objectives of the camp was for the boys to experience a week in the life of a professional rugby player, so they found themselves in the video room, analysing clips from matches and answering the coaches’ questions on what they had seen or what they should have been looking for.
The emphasis on game sense and awareness continued with the boys showing great improvements in the way they read and reacted to what was going on in front of them on the field.
Friday was a half day and the mood in the morning was as to be expected — the boys were at the end of an exciting and challenging week and after a small recap on passing skills the coaches let them loose to play “conditioned games,” which quickly became full-on battles as the boys put a long week of training and skill development into practice.
Some very tired bodies trudged off the training field on Friday afternoon, but Franco, Lincoln, Kenny, Luis and Preston are confident of taking their new skills back to the TCI and sharing them with their teammates as they prepare for the first ever National Under 19 team’s tour to Canada later this month. Its exciting to note that Luis and Franco were both awarded the best player in their respective groups.
En route they were able to visit central London prior to the camp and saw Trafalgar square, Buckingham Palace, Whitehall, 10 Downing Street, Big Ben, Westminster Cathedral and ride the London Eye. In Dublin the boys were billeted with two Irish families and got to experience typical Irish family life, made some good friends with boys their own age and given a taste of the history of Irleand through an tour of Dublin, attending a Gaelic football match, participating in an Irish tag rugby finals night, swimming in the Liffey and getting a chance to torture their chaperone on the last day by playing paintball before they began the long trip back home to TCI.
The junior players and the TCIRFU would like to thank the following people and groups who made this trip a reality for them: Digicel Turks and Caicos, Digicel Ireland, The Leinster Rugby Union, The Persey Family in Dublin, The Richmond Family in Dublin, O’Neills Rugby, James Hamilton and Paul Wallace, Lloyd Inwards, and to their chaperone for the 12 days, TCIRFU President Keith Burant.
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