Bridge the Gap Fund Helps Atlantic Canada u19 and Newfoundland u18 tour to Ireland May 2017
The u19 team played 3 games : 2 wins (Old Christians Cork u20 and North Kildare u20) and a 2 point loss to Cork Con u20 (one of the best clubs in Ireland). The u18 team played 4 games and lost to Cork Con, Midleton, Skerries and North Kildare.
The cost to the players for 9 days in Ireland was $800 after the CRF and co-sponsors subsidies were taken into account. We stayed in budget hostels, bought no gear, and players paid for food.
There was an immediate recompense for Canada as Jack McCarthy, in his first year of rugby ,was called up to Canada u20 for the Uruguay World Rugby Trophy. The Rock u19 team won bronze at the recent Junior CRC behind BC and Ontario. The u18 team will play at Nationals in a week.
An objective of the trip was to create a bilateral relationship with clubs for on-going tours home and away.
Cork Constitution have agreed to this and their u18 team will travel to St John’s in May 2018 and the Atlantic u19 team will visit Cork .
Skerries are interested in a similar relationship and have fine under-age teams. Dundalk who visited St John’s last week have also agreed to a similar relationship.
The Atlantic u19 team is an integral component of the Rock pathway and tours like this will attract the best players from the region.
On graduation from the u19 program the Rock have had good retention for the senior team and have provided multiple players to Canada recently (Parfrey, McMullan, Keys, Keith, Heaton, Baillie).