In addition to these venues, this year sees the addition of exciting new IRFU Beach TAG festivals being added to the calendar as well as one-day festival blitz competitions which will all be announced early next year. There will also be an All Ireland Open Championship at the end of the season which will be open to all teams to battle for the title of champions of Ireland.
The league caters for all levels of skill and fitness and for mixed social teams, men’s and veterans. The growth of TAG rugby has been successful in spreading the popularity of the game of rugby and its non contact nature and social aspect have made it accessible to both men and women in the specially graded levels.
Ireland and Leinster Captain Brian O’Driscoll encouraged people to get involved in IRFU TAG, saying: “When you are cold, muddied and wet on a field in December, the thought of playing TAG in the long summer evenings or even on a beach is certainly an attractive one. IRFU TAG has really grown and it is a great opportunity for players from all levels to stay fit, have some fun and experience the unique social aspect that rugby at any level has to offer.”
IRFU Tag Rugby is not a private enterprise and works in partnership with the clubs who act as venues for the leagues. IRFU TAG and the clubs work together at injecting activity during the traditionally quiet summer months into the rugby clubs of Ireland.
The clubs participating benefit in a direct profit sharing arrangement with IRFU TAG as well as the increased numbers availing of the club’s bar and catering facilities on TAG nights at the venues. This arrangement will see the venues share in the revenue generated by the number of teams that take part during the IRFU TAG Leagues.
IRFU TAG Manager Olly Hodges added: “Last year’s leagues exceeded expectation to the point that we have again expanded the number of venues, allowing for more teams and players to take part. The social aspect of TAG and its ability to attract players who may never have even set foot in a rugby club before has been not only a boost to the venue club in term of revenues, but also to the possibility of attracting new members. This year is also exciting as we have new Beach TAG Festivals planned for the summer as well”.