On Sunday evening, Charlie Worth of Letterkenny Rugby Club, an Ireland debutant, captained his country to victory in the Men’s U18 European 7s Rugby Championship in Poland.
On the same day in Wales, another Letterkenny rugby player, Mya Alcorn competed for the Irish Women’s U18 sevens side, helping them to victories over England, Scotland and Wales.
An incredible achievement and the latest in an ever-lengthening line of momentous appearances in the green of Ireland by members of a club that punches light years beyond its weight in both men’s and women’s competition.
There have been seven Irish internationals from the club in recent years: Joe Dunleavy, Conor McMenamin, Charlie Worth, Maya Alcorn, Laura Feely and Larissa Muldoon.
To put that into perspective, apart from Fahan’s Nora Stapleton, County Donegal has only ever had five other internationals and they won their caps in 1893 (Robert Johnston, Lucius Gwynn), 1895 (Arthur Gwynn), 1899 (James Myles) – all for Ireland. Dave Gallaher, born in Ramelton, was first capped by New Zealand in 1903 and led the Original All Blacks in 1905.
Ever since the historic visit of the All Blacks to Letterkenny and Ramelton, youth rugby in Letterkenny has gone from strength to strength.
Larissa Muldoon and Laura Feely received their early rugby education in the club before going on to represent Ulster and Connacht respectively and eventually going on to become full Irish Internationals.
Joe Dunleavy is currently a part of the Ulster Academy and has represented Ireland in the 6 nations and World Cup at U20 level while Conor McMenamin has played for Ireland at U19 level. Both are held in high regard in Ulster rugby circles at the hope is both will go on to have successful rugby careers.
During the same time numerous Letterkenny players have represented Ulster at youth level and continue to do so.
Although a small and relatively young club, Letterkenny consistently competes with the traditional powerhouses of club rugby and is widely regarded as having the best youth set up in the north-west of the province.
Saturday August 31st sees the return of mini rugby for boys and girls. We have a thriving mini section with a large number of enthusiastic, experienced coaches all dedicated and focused on developing your child’s skills in the fundamentals and advanced stages of mini rugby.
Kids will learn to work as a team, build confidence, improve skills but most importantly make friends and enjoy themselves.
Sessions run every Saturday morning from 9.30-10.30 at Letterkenny rugby club and training is usually followed by tea/coffee/juice and a biscuit (or two!) upstairs in the clubhouse. On September 7th the session moves to Rathmullen beach!
Letterkenny RFC caters for players all the way from non-contact Leprechaun rugby (U7) up to U12 where the rugby starts to look more like the senior version of the game. No previous experience is necessary!