Ennis Rugby Football Club is the largest rugby club in Clare and caters for players from a very wide catchment area. The club is based on the Drumbiggle Road in Ennis adjacent to the Ennis Showground’s.
Currently, the club has over 400 Mini and Youth players and fields teams from Leprechaun (U.7) all the way through to U.19. These teams compete in North Munster competitions and at some age levels the club is in the very fortunate position of being able to field two teams. Such a large number of players requires strict management of the playing facilities. Currently, the club only has one pitch of their own and rents a second pitch in Lee’s Rd, Clare County Councils municipal sports and recreation facility. The club also rents a training area from their next-door neighbours, the Clare Show Society and indeed are very thankful to Joe Lillis and his colleagues for their help. Child welfare features heavily on the clubs agenda. All coaches and members of the club’s Executive Committee are Garda vetted; over 50 members are currently vetted.
Coaches also complete the appropriate Munster Rugby coaching course and sign up to the IRFU’s Child Welfare policy document.
Despite this, the club are currently enjoying a certain measure of success and are confident that this progression will continue. The club has a policy of integrating U.19 players into Junior rugby is as timely a manner as possible. The enthusiasm and skill level of these younger players is helping the overall Junior team performance. Perhaps it’s a case of the “young dog teaching the old dog new tricks!”
Sadly, one of the clubs stalwarts, Anna Murphy, passed away on Christmas Day 2012 after a long illness. Anna was an integral part of the club for many years and will be missed by her many friends in rugby circles. The club would like to extend sincere sympathy to her family.
As with all sporting organisations these days, funding (or lack thereof) is a very difficult issue. It costs a lot of money to keep a club afloat and while membership fees provide part of this, the club is constantly looking for new fundraising ideas which will help ease the burden.
The club would like to extend a warm welcome to anyone, adult or child, who may be contemplating returning to or taking up the game of rugby. All skill levels are catered for and the great thing about rugby is that everyone can play, enjoy the camaraderie that forms such a strong part of the ethos of rugby and make lifelong friends.