Ulster Rugby regional staff Ricky Huey and Shaun Bloomfield were to the fore of organising the event along with club officials, which had the three-fold aim of providing young adults the opportunity to play alongside their peers, creating a quality coaching environment and developing a healthy and good social environment within the clubs.
"The intention is to give clubs a better opportunity to retain current young players, recruit new players and attract back lapsed school/youth players into their clubs for the seasons ahead" says Ricky.
"After our Easter tournament we will be sitting down with the Clubs again to help create a series of inter-regional pre-season (Aug-Sept) fixtures. The resulting pool of young U20s players that have been identified will automatically become eligible for selection by the Clubs senior squads but critically, they will have the back-up of the U20s setup to help develop their talent as rugby players for the future".
Coleraine RFC are giving the transition process their wholehearted backing and are looking forward to strengthening their successful senior teams with a pool of talented young players thus ensuring a sustainable rugby environment within the town. The Club's Senior Head Coach Richard Boyd has already been taking training sessions along with U20s Coaches Chris Nash and Gordon Allen.
"I see the U20s setup as a vital cog in the development of my senior squads at the Club and will do what ever I can to lend support," says Richard. "Coleraine rugby can only get better and I urge any young players, both those with a rugby background and those with a new interest in the game, to come along and give U20s rugby a try."
All 6 teams gave a good account of themselves in what proved to be an entertaining afternoon of rugby under clear blue skies. A large crowd watched the tournament climax in a final between Coleraine and Limavady with Coleraine coming out worthy winners.