The initiative was developed in conjunction with Roberto Ono who has, for a number of years, brought Spanish students to the Leinster Rugby School of Excellence in King’s Hospital and with whom Leinster Rugby recognised an opportunity to assist the development of rugby in Spain, both on and off the field.

The Valencia camp took place in Les Abeilles RFC and was attended by 57 players. This year was a marked success with the underage teams achieving significant results at provincial and national level.

However, this is not the only criteria for a successful camp. Gerry McCleery, former Fingal Community Rugby Officer, who leads the project on behalf of Leinster Rugby, explained: “In Valencia the real value is the club’s interest in our sessions. Often as many as 10 coaches will attend and observe, and we are always available for questions. As always our game-centred approach is an eye-opener for these coaches and creates huge interest.”

Gerry McCleery

The outstanding success in Valencia paved the way for the link with Calzada Rugby Club de Gijon in Asturias.

Inspired by their young coach, Mario Muniz, the camp has developed in line with Leinster Rugby’s ambitions for a more provincial approach from the clubs, thus benefitting a greater number of players, coaches and clubs.

This year’s camp had 70 attendees and the on-field activities were supplemented with a number of seminars on subjects such as strength and conditioning, mental wellbeing and other topics.

Last year Leinster Rugby coaches introduced the Leinster youths development pathway to the attendees. They followed up this year by demonstrating an example of the on-field activity used in the North-East development programme. The session was attended by 10 coaches from Asturias, and two from Santander and Madrid.

Discussions are on-going around the possibility of a residential camp in Asturias next year, thus increasing access to Leinster Rugby expertise.

With coaches of the calibre of North East CRO Billy Phelan and South Dublin CRO Ken Moore assisting the project, it can only get stronger each year.

The Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby School of Excellence gets underway on 17th July! There are a limited number of places available at