Leinster Rugby have nine development officers tasked with driving the game at all levels in the North Midlands region.

Name: Joe Carbery

Area: North Midlands CRO

Length in role with Leinster: 6 years

Explain what it is you do:  I assist in the development of rugby through working with schools, clubs, CCRO’s and councils – players, coaches and administrators.

Aspects of your job you really enjoy:  I love working with mini and youth players, volunteers and coaches, clubs and councils to help all involved enjoy their time in the game.

Name: Paddy Behan

Club: Cill Dara RFC

Length in role with Leinster: 3 years

Explain what it is you do: I introduce and coach rugby in the local schools Primary and Secondary in the greater Kildare area who are located under the Cill Dara RFC catchment area.

Aspects of your job you really enjoy: Interacting with kids and teachers in the community bringing rugby to kids who might not normally play and then seeing them play in the club. I love coaching and seeing progress with individuals and in groups that I come in contact with also developing relationships and friendships in the community.

Name: Seb Berti

Club: Newbridge RFC

Length in role with Leinster: 18 months

Explain what it is you do: I go around schools and give the chance to boys and girls to learn about rugby and the skills the games needs.

Aspects of your job you really enjoy: I love getting kids to learn having fun playing rugby and develop many of them on their rugby journey.

Name: Michael Cahill

Club: Naas RFC

Length in role with Leinster: 8 1/2 years

Explain what it is you do: I have introduced the game of rugby to a number of boys and girls and have seen them progress with their schools and club and on to represent Leinster Youths, Leinster Senior Squads, Irish U19/U20 Squads and a number of AIL Clubs including Naas RFC.

Aspects of your job you really enjoy: What’s better that working at your main hobby? I’ve been involved with rugby as a player, a coach, a referee, an administrator most of my life and I just love the game and all it stands for.

Name: Bryan Croke

Club: Portlaoise RFC

Length in role with Leinster: 3 years

Explain what it is you do: The role of Rugby Development Officer is divided into three sections, Player Development, Coaching Development and Community.

The Community role is to provide rugby sessions to local primary and secondary schools. Aiming to introduce students to the game and enabling schools to compete at a suitable level.

The Player Development Role is to provide all players within the club the opportunity to develop their own skills through position specific and team-based sessions.

The Coaching Development Role is to allow the coaches within the club to challenge themselves and constantly progress their understanding of the game. This is done by 1-1 feedback and also group session.

Aspects of your job you really enjoy: I love having a direct impact on my club, a club that has done so much for me since the very first day I came through the gates. Interacting with the local schools to introduce the sport I love to students who have never experienced it.

Name: Colm Dunne  

Club: North Kildare RFC

Length in role with Leinster: 5 months

Explain what it is you do: I go into schools and run a high-energy, fun-based rugby program, that teaches Fundamental Movement Skills that equates into Fundamental Sports Skills. This is done through a fun game based environment which hopefully leads to the students joining a local Rugby club.

Aspects of your job you really enjoy: Working with students and building relationships with the local schools.

Name: Mary Healy

Club: Clane RFC

Length in role with Leinster: 2 years

Explain what it is you do: As a CCRO it is my job to attend schools and spread awareness of the game and also the passion of rugby. I introduce rugby to children and teenagers who may have never heard of the sport, or played the sport before in the hope to spark a love for the game. I play games with the children and teenagers while getting them involved in rugby through a non-contact approach.

The games are intended for the children and teenagers to enjoy and potentially consider joining a club. I then talk about my incredible club Clane and give all the details of trainings and matches to the children and teenagers. If any of them are keen to give rugby a go they are encouraged to attend the rugby club.

Aspects of your job you really enjoy: I really love encouraging children and teenagers to consider joining rugby as it is an incredible sport. I love working with boys and girls and getting to show them that rugby is inclusive for everyone and that is a very simple game that is really enjoyable. The best part of my job though is getting to watch children and teenagers fall in love with the game and enjoy our sessions. Seeing the smiles on all their faces at the end of each session is what it’s all about, and makes my job so enjoyable.

Name: Tadhg Kelleher

Club: Athy RFC

Length in role with Leinster:  6 years currently, plus a year in 2001/2002

Explain what it is you do: Promote rugby in local primary schools through Tag/Touch Rugby games. Introduce and coach full contact rugby in secondary schools to enable them to play at whatever level of Leinster Schools rugby is appropriate to them. Assist the club by coaching, running coach the coaches sessions, providing information and assistance on various aspects of rugby.

Aspects of your job you really enjoy: I enjoy being outside interacting with coaches and players.

Name: Paidi Mahon

Club: Portarlington RFC

Length in role with Leinster: 8 years

Explain what it is you do: In essence, the main part of my role is going to the schools around the Portarlington area, introducing the children to the sport of rugby and trying to drive numbers towards the club. I run Blitzes for my Primary Schools and have some teams up and running in my Secondary Schools. I also have a strong involvement in the club and with North Midlands and Leinster Girls sides too.

Aspects of your job you really enjoy: Working with so many people of all ages and abilities is challenging (particularly getting the names!) but is very rewarding also. Every day is different and even if things aren’t going your way in another 40 minutes you’ll be in with another group so starting with a blank sheet!

Being a little longer in the role I do like seeing groups progress through the years and seeing children who came out to the club after a school session grow within the game. The nature of the role means it can be a little isolating at times so opportunities to work with other CCROs on Blitz Weeks, Courses or Fixtures is something that’s always very enjoyable.

You can find contact details for all the Development Officers here.