The Irish Rugby Football Union has cancelled this season’s Energia All-Ireland League due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic.
While the decision was hardly unexpected, it is nevertheless a disappointing one for coaches, players, mentors and supporters at clubs such as Buccaneers.
Domestic rugby has been hard hit by the nationwide government lockdowns enforced to slow the spread of the virus. Last season’s AIL ground to a halt in March with a blanket suspension of matches. Club games resumed during the autumn with the Energia Community Series, which was basically provincial leagues, but that proved a short-lived exercise as new restrictions were introduced again by the government last November.
IRFU officials are hopeful of resuming some form of club rugby ‘when cleared to do so by Government guidelines’ and ‘a huge amount of work is ongoing. Commitment to players and the clubs remains clear’.
It may be possible that the Community Series league can be completed but much will depend on Government decisions re lockdown circa March 5. If restrictions are lifted, then this series could take place but time is limited as rugby traditionally finishes in May. With time needed for training and preparation, the schedule would be very tight to get the remaining fixtures completed.
With no promotion or relegation in the now aborted AIL this season, it would have been an ideal opportunity for Buccaneers new coaching triumvirate of Kolo Kiripati, Henry Bryce and Adrian Hanley to give a lot of game time and further develop the many young promising players at the Athlone club, captained by Evan Galvin, and also to experiment with playing styles and formations. But, for now, it’s a case of fingers crossed and wait and see for the time being.
50/50 Draw Winner
Tina Kiernan is the latest winner in Buccaneers RFC ‘50/50 Draw’. If you wish to support this fundraiser, contact our Administrator Geraldine at 0861732711. The more who are in, the more you may win! Thanks to everyone who have signed up to date.
Deepest sympathy is extended to Tommy Fagan and family on the passing of his brother Mattie.