SHANAGOLDEN will once again play host to some of the heavyweights of Limerick rugby next weekend when Estuary RFC hosts its second annual club day.
The first teams of Shannon, Garryowen, Old Crescent and Thomond rugby clubs will compete for the Old Stand Cup in the West Limerick village on Sunday, August 19, in a contest that will form the centrepiece of a club day full of family fun and entertainment.
Keith Moran, PRO of Estuary RFC, said that there will be a host of attractions for visitors of all ages.
“There’s a nice bit happening. The rugby’s starting up at around 3pm. But lots going on all day: we’ve a sheaf toss, a cow patch, a beer mile, and races for the kids too – there’ll be a sack race, a three-legged race, things like that.”
Last August, Shannon and Garryowen competed in the first ever Old Stand Cup as Estuary RFC officially opened its new pitch near the village hall at the top of Shanagolden.
The clash of two of Limerick rugby’s most famous names was the highlight of a day which featured a number of special guests, including rugby legend and Askeaton native Mick Fitzgibbon.
Next Sunday the format has been extended to welcome in two extra teams, as Limerick’s senior clubs get valuable game time under their belts ahead of the pre-season Charity Cup. There will be an open draw to decide who plays who in the semi-finals, with the winners progressing to the final later that afternoon.
However activities will be taking place at the pitch from 12pm right up until 6pm, with many different rugby-themed events which will help get younger kids interest in the sport.
Since their inception in 2005, Estuary RFC have been creeping further and further up local rugby’s food chain, starting right at the bottom with under-8 mini rugby.
Each year since, the club have brought younger players on and set up new teams, which now stretch right up to under-17 grade. The club have also quickly developed a reputation for attracting new players to the sport from across West Limerick’s GAA heartlands. The club’s long-term vision is to have a fully-fledged adult junior team as well as competitive youth sides.
Mr Moran said that throughout the day next Sunday, Estuary RFC will be providing parents and prospective players with bits and pieces of information about rugby, how to get involved and what the club can offer.
He added that this season’s mini rugby training camps will be starting back in September. For more information, check out Estuary RFC’s Facebook page.