Over 1,000 boys and girls aged 12-17 took part in this year’s School of Excellence (SOE), over four weeks of residential and non-residential camps held in King’s Hospital, Palmerstown.

The programme attracted players from near and far, with attendees from Dubai, Singapore and America, as well as Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Sweden, Lithuania, Germany and Britain.

The SOE provides players aged 12-17 with a comprehensive rugby package which allows them to experience a week in the life of a professional rugby player. Players who attended our camp learned to play the Leinster Way, gained a greater understanding of the game and learned about values such as teamwork, commitment, integrity and communication.

Players took part in a structured rugby development programme and emphasis was placed on skill development, game understanding, activity and enjoyment. In particular, players developed core rugby skills and learned to perform under challenging conditions through high class coaching in a professional environment.

Positional clinics, video analysis, nutritional information and mental preparation are all key ingredients in the SOE programme along with Leinster Rugby Academy players paying a weekly visit to offer insight in to the pathway to the professional game.

There was also huge excitement around our guest speakers this year, with Peter Smyth (Leinster Academy Manger), Girvan Dempsey (Leinster Backs Coach), Stuart Lancaster (Leinster Senior Coach) and Leo Cullen (Leinster Head Coach) dropping by to share their knowledge and experiences.

The programme has grown year on year and this summer we had over 1,000 players, boys and girls, taking part.

Stephen Maher, School of Excellence Manager, said: “We are delighted with how this year’s School of Excellence has been received. Over 1,000 players attending, not just from Ireland but from across the world, shows that these camps and Leinster Rugby are a global brand. The additional two hour coaching session each Friday gave the players more time to put into actions the skills learned over the course of the week.”