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New DCU Rugby Development Officer

New DCU Rugby Development Officer
Jack Hanratty, DCU Rugby Development Officer (centre), James Kelly Chair DCU Men's Rugby Club (left) and Aoife O'Brien Chair DCU Women's Rugby Club (right) with the Magners League Trophy

While the season might not yet have kicked off in terms of matches played, a lot of work has gone into the structures and the development of rugby in DCU over the last few months ahead of what promises to be an exciting year for the sport in the college.

DCU has secured a new Rugby Development Officer, Jack Hanratty. Jack commenced in post on the 22nd of September 2008 and will be working with the Sport & Recreation Service, under Student Support & Development. Jack has been working with Leinster Rugby for the past year as a Community Development Officer and has also been coaching the DCU Women’s rugby team and is delighted to have more involvement with rugby in DCU. Jack is employed by Leinster Rugby and his role has a dual focus-developing rugby in the community and also developing rugby within DCU. The focus of his work in DCU will be developing the Men’s & Women’s Rugby Clubs and developing initiatives to increase participation such as a Mixed Tag rugby leagues. Tag Rugby commences on Wednesday 22nd of October and will run each week from 1-3pm at the DCU Sports Grounds. This new post is an initiative supported by the Sport & Recreation Service, the Sports Club Committee, DCU Rugby Clubs and Leinster Rugby.

Students Ruaidhri Murphy (BS3) and Max Rantz-McDonald (BS3) have been awarded DCU Rugby Scholarships this year, as the club looks to build a platform for more on-field success. In Murphy and Rantz-McDonald, DCU looks to have acquired two players who are sure to bring out the best in those around them. Murphy, a member of the Grand Slam winning Ireland Under-20 side of 2007, is currently in year two of the Leinster Academy and also plays for St Mary’s. Rantz-McDonald meanwhile is an Ireland Sevens international and is now back playing with Clontarf.

On hand alongside Jack Hanratty and his scholarship players at the DCU Rugby Clubs’ recruitment days last week was a special guest on loan from the Leinster senior squad. - The Magners League trophy stood proudly on show as the clubs looked to attract as many students as possible.

Speaking after the event, Hanratty, who joined DCU last year as coach of the women’s team, declared the couple of days’ work a huge success. “We had 81 women sign up this year which is more than we’ve ever had,” he explained. “And with well over 100 men signing up as well, it should be a good season all round.”

Both DCU rugby clubs will participate in Division Two of their respective leagues for the 2008/09 season but Hanratty stated an early signal of intent. “Both teams will be looking to win their leagues and with the personnel we have in board I can’t see why that’s not possible.”

Training for DCU men has already commenced while the women start their season’s preparations next week.

If you would like any information on tag, playing men’s or women’s rugby, coaching or refereeing then visit Jack in his office, CG71 Henry Grattan Building number. You can also contact Jack by email at jack.hanratty@dcu.ie or by telephone on 01-700 8722.