Rugby has been played in Coláiste Iognáid since the early days of the last century.

Legendary Bish/Jes clashes of the 1920s have found their way into folklore and newspaper accounts survive of their supporters clashing after a match in the sportsground and throwing missiles at each other from the old railway bridge across Forster street!

Following a period of absence when the Jes embraced an all Irish games sporting policy, rugby was revived in the late 1960s, and has thrived since.

Participation has always been high and success on the field frequent for the relatively small number of boys in the school. Over the last twenty years the Jes has won the Connacht Senior Cup on seven occasions and a number of our past pupils have played for Connacht and Ireland at various levels.

Playing rugby in the Jes is about the sheer enjoyment of being part of a team that trains, travels and plays together through their time in the school. The bond that you develop with your teammates and the great times you spend together is something you always remember.

Rugby is a game where all shapes and sizes can play their part. It teaches our students self-discipline, pride in their school and themselves, modesty in victory and acceptance in defeat. There is a real emphasis on teamwork, fair play and respect for the referee and the opposition alongside tremendous fitness and mental health benefits.

The philosophy of the coaches is to encourage participation regardless of ability by the inclusion of all players, in as far as possible, in all activities, always keeping the safety of our players as our priority. We have a great tradition of touring in Ireland and abroad. The rugby tradition of hospitality means that we have been welcomed and hosted, and have hosted in turn, teams from across Ireland, the U.K. and the Continent. In recent years, we have developed a strong relationship with College Victor Hugo, in Narbonne and we have travelled to France with Senior and Junior squads on five occasions in the last ten years.

The highlight of any schools rugby career has to be the Schools Cup final day in the Sportsground where the lads get to play in front of the entire school community and their families and friends - the atmosphere is always electric! But it is the experience of building those close friendships and the feeling of belonging to a squad who really care about you that is the most important part of the journey.

We would encourage any new Jes students to give rugby a try!

Any enquiries to Ms Anthony, Mr Parkinson or Mr Kennedy.

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