Roots & All is a project where we pick a few teams that don’t normally make the spotlight week in week out and feature them regularly throughout an entire campaign.
The season is now in full swing and we are very busy as I’m sure are all the Rugby clubs throughout Ireland. Including preseason our players have been training hard in the gym and on the pitch for around 3 and a half months now.
October is an interesting month at Queen’s as the academy spots are awarded to the Male and Female students who have been selected. We feel that our Rugby Academy offers an excellent support system to young players who aspire to fulfill their potential as players. We seek to work with players on an individual basis, investing money on their behalf in services such as Nutritionists, Sports Psychologists, Strength and Conditioning Coaches and other Sports Science Services. We also have a number of specialist workshops geared towards supporting the modern student athlete.
Our 1st XV have continued to play well in the Ulster Senior League, looking impressive in beating high flying local rivals Malone at home, despite missing a number of regulars. However, the All-Ireland League has been a struggle thus far, due to a combination of facing tough opposition in our opening 3 games, and trying to gel as a young team after the loss of 13 first team regulars at the end of last season. However , the coaching team is convinced that the current crops is one of the club’s most talented in years and are sure that we will see them show that during the remainder of the season.
The 2nds have started to build momentum with convincing wins over Rainey Old Boys, and Belfast Harlequins, but will face a test this weekend with the ever- physical Banbridge the visitors to Upper Malone. The 3rds and 4ths have also started the season well and look certain to be challengers in their respective leagues come the end of the season.
The women’s team go from strength to strength in their first year playing All Ireland Rugby, and currently have won all their games this season, and gaining an attacking bonus point in all but one. A number of the squad have also been training with the Ulster Provincial squad and we hope to be well represented when the final squad is announced. We will also be hosting the Ulster vs. Munster women’s interprovincial game on Sunday 2nd December. In the photo to right you see Jemma Jackson after scoring the winning try in our recent game against local rivals Harlequins.
Finally, we have broken new ground this season with two additional teams taking the field representing the club. The men’s 5th XV had a midweek outing today against Stranmillis College in an entertaining game, which they narrowly lost. Also, our women’s 2nd XV took to the field on Sunday past against local Qualifying side Ards, and managed a convincing victory. It’s great to see more players finding an avenue to continue their rugby alongside their studies and hopefully both teams will be able to secure more fixtures as the season goes on… injuries and weather permitting!
‘Keep the Blue Flag Flying High... until next time.’
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