Great turnout for MRFU youth finals

Over 300 young players, parents and supporters came together at Marsa last weekend for the finals of the MRFU Age Grade Rugby season.

16 June 2011, 12:00am
By Mike Turner

Play started early on Sunday morning to avoid summer temperatures, but it was clear from the start that the heat would not prevent Malta’s future rugby stars playing with determination, enthusiasm and undoubted skill.   

Children between the ages of 8 and 17 took part with the U9’s and U11’s playing a series of tag-rugby games before the U13’s and U17’s played their final 7’s tournaments for the season.

The MRFU School of Rugby, supported by GasanMamo Insurance has been running every Sunday throughout the season in order to promote the game and introduce more young players.  Individual rugby clubs have been working in conjunction with PE teachers to stage introductory training sessions in schools across Malta.  As a result, children attending the School of Rugby have now been allocated to various clubs with dedicated youth coaches.

Keeping a keen eye out for future talent, Damian Neill, MRFU National Coach, said he was thrilled with the turnout and it proved this year’s initiative had been a great success.  “This has been our most successful youth season so far and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of our coaches and volunteers. “ When you see children of eight or nine experiencing and enjoying a sport that perhaps they wouldn’t have been exposed to till their teens - and that’s sometimes too late – then I’m delighted.”

On hand to present the Gasan Mamo Awards, Director, Mark Mamo said it was clear the youth game had developed in Malta in recent times and the children’s enjoyment was evident.  “It’s wonderful to see young people playing with such passion, he said.  “I’m convinced I’ll be watching some of you play for your country in the near future.”

All players received the GasanMamo Age Grade Rugby 2010/2011 Certificate of Participation, while specific awards were made to the following:

U 13 7’s Cup Winners -   Kavallieri RFC

U18 7’s Cup Winners - Gladiators RFC

Best Overall U18s Team of the Season -  Falcons RFC

Best U18s Player -  Ryan Borg, Falcons RFC

(also nominated: Josh Owens, Gladiators; Frankie Imbroll, Kavallieri)

Most Improved U18s Player -  Leon Van de Wakker, Kavallieri RFC

(also nominated: Chris Birch-Iversen, Gladiators; Sean Blake, Alligators; Tyson Fremman, Falcons).