The 2019 Bank of Ireland School of Excellence kicks off today at The King’s Hospital School with 260 young players taking part in the first week of the camp.
The School of Excellence brings players aged 12-17 together to live like professional players with daily pitch sessions, video analysis, and guest speakers every week.
Over 1,100 boys and girls will attend the School of Excellence over the next four weeks, with around 3,000 expected to attend the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Summer Camps at clubs across the province.
This brings the total number of children attending Leinster Rugby Summer Camps to well over 4,000 this year.
Thousands of players have passed through the SOE over the years, with more than a few continuing their progression to become members of the Academy at Leinster Rugby HQ in University College Dublin.
Tadhg Furlong now has over 100 Leinster Rugby appearances, 33 caps for Ireland and a Lions tour to New Zealand to his name, but as a teenager, he was one of the thousands of young players to attend the SOE.
Ciarán Frawley made his senior Leinster debut in February 2017, but just three-and-a-half years earlier the Skerries man was attending the SOE.
During his week at The King’s Hospital, Frawley’s group was visited by then Leinster Academy players Ed Byrne and Tom Farrell.
Little did Frawley or Byrne know that they would be teammates just a few years later representing Leinster at the RDS Arena.
Both Furlong and Frawley came through the Leinster player pathway with their clubs, playing in the Shane Horgan Cup with their area team before being brought into the province’s underage set up.
The Girls’ SOE camp is now in its fifth year with Eimear Corri and Emma Hooban, who have gone on to represent the Leinster Women’s team, two of its notable graduates.
To find out more about the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby School of Excellence or to book one of the last remaining non-residential places, visit leinsterrugby.ie/soe.