THIS IS WHERE IT STARTS: When A Group Of People Start A Rugby Club With Nothing! Special Feature: City OF Derry RFC – Features to follow on Donegal Town, Limavady & Portadown & Bangor RFC Special Feature: THE City Of Derry Rugby Football Club: Est 1881 – Just Look At Us Now! By The People Who Love Playing Fighting Rugby

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This feature article is a celebration of the City Of Derry RFC playing community and we have followed the club to home and away games to capture the following video clips of play, pictures and video interviews from across City Of Derry RFC.

Contents Below
1) Intro
2) Ladies Rugby
3) Youth Rugby
4) Senior Rugby
5) History

1) Introduction
When we are true to ourselves and those around us – life is better. Division and fear cause isolation and this is the root of all that makes us less. Being part of a rugby club that has goodness at its heart is the joy that people experience in rugby across Ireland. City Of Derry RFC is one such club and over the years they have known all the ins and outs, highs and lows of being part of a community. Now in its 131st year (a history of the club is printed at the bottom of this article) the club has over the past 6 years entered a phenomenally positive new phase of growth that is spreading the rugby message across the City and beyond.

The rugby is vibrant, free, and dynamic. The player’s female and male just love playing the sport, young and old congregate together to play and watch and help and support. The club house is a frenetic whizz of activity, the pitches at home games echo with past glory and now are pounded by the many feet of at least seven successful teams.

Great individual players showcase their ability but only with a team around them and it is that special sacrifice of ego that a team requires which has seen XVS across the club achieve what only 5 or 6 years ago people would not have believed possible.

Now everyone believes and everyone is hungry for more. It’s a nourishing thing a club and when the members enter the clubhouse they will always remember the very very happy memories in the bar and especially the changing rooms & pitches as teams celebrate victory and grow each week of the season.

To express this from the clubs point of view we video interviewed director of rugby playing Moss Dineen. The comments he made capture the motivational heart of City Of Derry RFC, a sentiment that will be echoed in every rugby club, Moss happened to put into words in the video below the essence of rugby as city building, and nation building. We caught up with him in the club and below is the YouTube clip interview with Moss

[youtube V9SLBkMCMms]

Our first real experience of the club began some 6 or 7 years ago when having suffered relegations a new committee took the helm introducing a recipe for success. All the hard work of the previous 100+ years was freed up and in one season the club was completely turned around and since then has been promoted and promoted again and now finds itself sitting within ALL IRELAND LEAGUE rugby with limitless potential to move to the highest level of 1A. Rome was not built in a day and with the AIL Ladies team continuing to produce the highest quality players the atmosphere and conditions are right to continue the success tradition @ City Of Derry RFC.

Watch this clip from Captain Sam McCauley & Coach Bevan Lynch commenting on the 09/10 and 10/11 seasons and the hairs will go up on your neck
[youtube 9bpincPa-e0]
[youtube X8QRNqctyJo]


Great great times, nothing sums up the AIL Ladies I XV more than that. They play a ferocious brand of open rugby. Power, agility and speed with the aggression to get across the line for the try. Rosie Cup Winners, they have Ireland level players on their side and bring the professional ethos to their game. The ladies teams in all rugby clubs are at the cutting edge of growing the sport of rugby which historically did not include ladies teams. This side of rugby has been growing. This takes an extra dedication as the ladies break down preconceived ideas and on many occasions show the rest of the club just how to bring rugby into the community and encourage everyone to get involved in the game. It has been and is a pleasure to cover this side and below is several clips which capture the spirit of the side and the quality of rugby they play ranging from interviews to clips of play and scoring tries.

Stacey Lee Kennedy(c) of City Of Derry Women’s side has caps for Ireland and if you ever get the chance to play with her or watch her play you will see why that is. It’s full on hard hitting rugby with the ability to get the off load away. She comments below on playing @ the Rosie Cup Finals
[youtube 7eezS4gtuqU]
But it’s not just Stacey, the entire ladies extended squad is a real unit and force within Irish Rugby as you will see from this clip of them playing
Belfast Harlequins Ladies RFC v City Of Derry RFC
[youtube YdbxkhwvziQ]
For those thinking of playing rugby, be aware that a lot of the ladies have only been playing rugby for few years. To play rugby only requires a few weeks of training with City Of Derry ladies although you will find that your understanding and enjoyment of the game will only continue to grow.
The club has also over the years benefitted from the services of Diane Nixon as has Ulster. Diane is perhaps the perfect example of a rugby forward. Powerful, fast and not willing to be beaten we caught up with Diane after the Ladies brought home the Rosie Cup in 2011/12.
Diane Nixon
[youtube OhmLQumA_qA]
The pure enthusiasm for the game is throughout all the players and next is Rocky who last year commented after the Rosie Cup victory
Rockie and winning Rosie Cup 2011
[youtube 0K6ueXnVw5E]
More recently the importance of the ladies throughout the rest of the club is partly summed up here in the following interview with
Emma McGinley on Tag rugby. Emma has been instrumental in organising the summer tag rugby tournament at City Of Derry RFC and she comments below on this season’s tourno.
[youtube waC-n8NntpY]

The Rosie Cup holds a very significant place in the hearts of City Of Derry players. Rosie was from Derry and passed away from cancer a number of years ago. She played for Ireland and Ulster and was extremely important in Ulster Women’s Rugby circles in the establishment of women’s rugby in the province. It is with great pleasure that we present next the City Of Derry Women’s I XV winning the all Ulster Rosie Cup Championship final for the 2011/12 season
Playing at the Rosie Cup Finals
[youtube VhJBiK-EjrI]
From a coaching perspective we now turn to the current team coach and past coach
Mike Hebor current Ladies Coach comments on introducing a new style
[youtube SkJ3KAxLt5o]
James Doherty Comments on working with the ladies.
[youtube wAKbgyatlbM]
Ladies sport in Derry is thriving and many of the sports seasons are different. GAA & Rugby seasons do not cross over so Michelle McLaughlin from GAA has started playing for the City Of Derry Ladies recently and comments below on making that transition
Michelle McLaughlin comment son GAA & Rugby
[youtube Qh_E1NXuh6U]
& Playing PROP
[youtube kpBCFwhsobk]

IT is an honour to work with such dedicated rugby players and we look forward this season to catching up with other members of the squad and catching more games and hopefully live streaming one of their games this coming season in 2012/13.
Thank you to them for all of the help and support with intouch rugby and we thoroughly recommend anyone thinking of playing ladies rugby to get in touch with the club through their Facebook page or website CLICK HERE where you will be very very welcome @ City Of Derry RFC



Youth Rugby, the engine of the future, the breeding ground and future players of any club. We have rediscovered something in this past 5 years that we had forgotten in the age of money and that was the importance of family, and the lifeblood of pride in the jersey. These things that drive our provincial success and national success all flow from the heart of rugby which is the youth. Young people growing and developing the skills for life never mind rugby. The
bi-product is an ever better club, province and national results. The outcome is well rounded, young people who have a zest for team work, can display individual flair and the ability to communicate. How many times have we heard companies say they recruit from rugby. The reason is our focus is not winning but the lessons that we learn through winning and losing. The players want to win though and below is a snapshot of the City Of Derry youth sides of the 2011/12 season playing a very very skillful level of rugby and the coaching ability at the youth level in Derry is amongst the best. These guys young and old, eat, breath and sleep rugby union. They live for it and they make their way through the club to the golden oldies. A lifetime of rugby and the true grit to play and maybe win leagues and promotions along the way.

Scott Pollack comments here on the mini system at City Of Derry at the recent Ulster Rugby visit to the club followed by a written synopsis of the amazing Mini Rugby section @ City Of Derry RFC
[youtube lUIe7YNrePM]


At 9.30am on a Saturday morning at Judges Road, 100 + kids put on their green City of Derry Rugby jerseys to begin their weekly training session. The “mighty minis” play rugby for fun, the enjoyment they get from meeting new friends, travelling to local clubs for matches and learning to play with the oval ball. The qualified coaches work with the kids in small groups developing their basic rugby skill set while promoting self-discipline, teamwork and social skills in a safe, non-competitive and enjoyable environment. Training combines small sided games with skill drills to allow for active learning using a whole-part-whole approach.
Boys and girls from 6 to 12 years old take part, coming from 15 different primary schools. The minis are divided into 6 groups with their own Team Administrator and 3 dedicated coaches. Parents are encouraged to leave the side line and help out the coaches, some having completed foundation coach training while others are available as pitch side assistants. Teams play matches on a home/away basis against local clubs such as Limavady, Omagh, Strabane, Coleraine, Rainey, Ballymoney and Letterkenny. This incoming year, we hope to follow our 1st XV and play against their opponent Ulster League mini teams before a big game.
Derry is lucky to have floodlit pitches, which allows for the Friday night mini games, which are popular as it allows for the whole family to come and experience the event, as well as saviour the delights of the famous Derry hospitality provided by the catering skills of the mothers of the mini players.
A committed parent/coach committee has been formed after the successful exchange trip with Berbezieux RFC, in which 40+ French kids were hosted by our own families for 7 days in May. A return trip in Easter 2013 is already being planned. Fundraising for this trip is underway with a “Masked Ball” being organised for November, as well as weekly draws and cake sales.
City of Derry RFC is committed to fostering a sense of family membership in both a playing and social setting. The mini section exemplifies this where all are made welcome.

Registration Day : Sat 1st Sept 2012 9.30am – 11.00am (check website for details)
CDRFC Mini Convenor:

Thank you to the youth system for letting us cover them this season and we hope you enjoy the comments, interviews and pictures below

First up a person who has been at the forefront of the rugby revolution that is taking place at City Of Derry RFC Philip Duffy at I & II XV training takes time out to comment on youth rugby
[youtube RuczNxKg-68]
Nathan Deeney Youth Coach comments on the success of the youth system @ City Of Derry rFC
[youtube 9ygb0_l9TFM]
Now for the U15s on the charge!!!!!!!!!!
InTouch Rugby Presents: City Of Derry RFC U15 I XV ON THE RISE!!!!!!!!!
[youtube QTzWed1kLTo]
Now Christopher Curran the U15 head coach comments on his side
InTouch Rugby Presents: Christopher Curran city Of Derry RFC U15 Coach Comments
[youtube CN92EKhCqzE]
InTouch Rugby Presents: Christopher Curran City Of Derry Coach U13 XV
[youtube 9vhvywk3wlY]
The u17s are feared across Ulster as a ferocious side who play top flight youth rugby with an eye on the club I XV only a few years away, we got them on the charge at Ballymoney in a crucial game just watch the ability!
InTouch Rugby Presents: City Of Derry RFC U17 XV – ON THE CHARGE!!!!!
[youtube rEKWrkuIXys]
Now for the Pièce de résistance, the show stopping U13s decimate opponents in a pure rugby exhibition
InTouch Rugby Presents: City Of Derry U13 XV ~ Charging Forward!!
[youtube dVxv2TNYszg]
The U13 coach Alastair has made a massive contribution to the U13s commitment and focus to their chosen sport and are a credit to their club, Alastair comments below
InTouch Rugby Presents: City Of Derry Rugby U13 XV Coach Alastair Millar Comments
[youtube PNRek2UNMpk]
Now Derek Young the U17 coach comments on coaching what has threatened to be a dream team now for a few seasons!
InTouch Rugby Presents: Derek Young City Of Derry U17 Coach Comments
[youtube lYxvGLO1ZZM]
Finally the U19s show us how it’s done, having benefited over the years from the experience of playing at City Of Derry they are astounding their coaches and supporters with supreme skills, check out this next clips which show them charging forward
InTouch Rugby Presents: City Of Derry RFC U19 I XV v Omagh Accies RFC U19 I XV
[youtube Cn_aGyupy3o]
InTouch Rugby Presents: City Of Derry Rugby U19 XV
[youtube w4OBs01u-M4]
City Of Derry Rugby u19 v Letterkenny Rugby u19
[youtube sdajCrV33t4]
For full albums of the u13s, u15s, u17s and u19s
For Pictures of the U17s CLICK HERE
For the U15s CLICK HERE
For the U13s CLICK HERE
For the u19s CLICK HERE

Senior Rugby:

It’s amongst the best in Ireland and the UK, if not anywhere! Senior rugby at City Of Derry has been winning cups, trophies and promotion for 131 years! The first major trophy was the Irish Provincial Town’s Cup in 1882/83 since then the club has consistently competed and succeeded in its campaigns across JNR and Senior AIL rugby. These are big skillful players. The gene pool is perfect for rugby. the backs are outstanding and the forwards have the ability to access that inner place were legends are born. Determination, grit, the never say never fervor of fighting men who will not lie down. The steel that any rugby player understands is the difference between winning and losing. Also, the presentation and discipline. A very very proud club the senior sides bring the ideals of rugby wherever they go. With very few disciplinary actions taken against City Of Derry players they understand the importance of focusing their aggression and desire to win on the opposition team within the laws. They play to their potential and opposition players and referees find themselves caught up in what is very often a whirlwind of pure rugby that ensues when they are attacking or defending. The TRIES, The Tries, all the range of abilities, backs slicing through opposition lines, players reaching the try line and finding that extra extension of the arm to ground the ball, lineouts at international standard. Scrum time they are awesome. A team is the sum of its parts and the dynamic free flowing rugby played across the senior sides is an expression of the modern game. Watching a City Of Derry side play is one of the best introductions to rugby you could get. We have been privileged this last season to have covered a number of the City Of Derry sides and to have gotten clips behind the scenes at training with interviews from players and coaches. These guys know no other way to play than to win, it is a pleasure to cover this side and we look forward to many many more supreme games. Below is a little tour through the names and faces and games that have astounded the Irish Rugby scene for the past 5 years and now the club are set to burst forward on an adrenaline fueled season 2012/13 – ENJOY captains, player, coaches and more
First up is the new coach Mark Nicholl who has been the forwards coach at the club for years, he comments here in a frank and open interview at the beginning of the 2011/12 season as the forwards coach
[youtube 27en7GLgixc]
One of the first major games that we covered on InTouch Rugby was the 2010 senior cup final. It was a classic and you can view it now
In Touch rugby presents Senior Cup Final Dungannon vs City of Derry Match Highlights
[youtube uCdAzsisN6k]
Now watch a top tries compo vid from the season prior to 012 – LIKING THE MUSIC!
InTouch Rugby Presents: CITY Of Derry Rugby Video Of Tries 2011
[youtube a2F-yozLics]
These guys excel at 7s rugby for the last 2 years they have made the Ulster 7s finals and this year they went to the semifinals of the All Ireland competition beating Garryowen on the way and only losing the final spot because of contentious decisions and also they were on the try line ready to score when the final whistle was blown. These are backs who blow away the competition, absolute lightning! Check out the next two clips and see what we mean
InTouch Rugby Presents: City Of Derry RFC TRIESSSSSSS!!!! IRFU FINALS
[youtube 9NKGVOS6vPk]
InTouch Rugby Presents: Queens v City Of Derry In the AIL 7s Final
[youtube bE9XOmqSe2E]
InTouch Rugby Presents: City Of Derry Reach The IRFU 7s Finals Semi Final
[youtube h-hzv50BrhQ]
One of the club stalwarts Coach/Player/Manager Peter Corr comments next on the golden oldies IV. We got them playing at Armoy RFC at the end of last season. These guys take no prisoners, it’s as simple as that. Peter’s life is made very easy by the fact that the IV players are rugby fanatics. Their brand of rugby is open, dynamic and a lot of power in the mix, check out Peter’s comments next
In Touch Rugby Presents: Coach Peter Corr comments on City Of Derry rugby Club IV XV
[youtube -DGE4wFDC04]
Now Russell Doherty comments from the perspective of a man who has literally seen it all, and is still decimating opposition teams with his crash ball and off load game, we caught up with after the Armoy game at the beginning of the 11/12 season he comment snow
InTouch Rugby Presents: Russell Doherty Comments On city Of Derry rugby Club IV XV
[youtube 0HAd53yrNgs]
Now for footage of IV XV on the charge. IF you happen to be unlucky enough to be playing these guys then watch out – they are ferocious!
InTouch Rugby Presents: City Of Derry rugby Club IV – On the charge v Armoy Rugby Club
[youtube MwqN1EHCJIY]
Captain Sam McCauley will undoubtedly be remembered as an inspirational leader at Derry. He operates by example and when the team gel on match day McCauley will match them every step of the way. A skilled communicator we caught up with him in the 11/12 season when the club had reached the SNR cup semifinal for the second successive season
InTouch Rugby Presents: Sam McAuley(c) City Of Derry RFC Comments On Reaching The Senior Cup Semi Final 2011
[youtube 4l8ovttZpGI]
Ok now we have try time vid from the 011/12 season watch this and you will want to play
InTouch Rugby Presents: City Of Derry RFC Tribute To Legends
[youtube iN3NavGR3Sk]
Now comments from Coach Bevan Lynch has moved on after at least 5 massively successful seasons,
InTouch Rugby Presents: City Of Derry RFC Coach Bevan Lynch
[youtube xn1A9W8NsGE]
One of the best interviews we have ever conducted on InTouch rugby follows with Chris Cassidy after a ferocious game against Omagh from the III XV. This was a bloodthirsty game, the hits were massive and on one of those deep winter days with the mud thigh high the City Of Derry III XV achieved an intensity in their game that we have rarely seen. IT was literally superb to watch these guys play, and the sheer joy of being on the park left Chris finding himself making the following comment, following Chris is the highlights vid from that game
InTouch Rugby Presents: Chris Cassidy City Of Derry III XV
[youtube gf-mvbJ-Cgc]
InTouch Rugby Presents: Derry RFC III XV Highlights
[youtube fyj8NjX9Spc]
City Of Derry TV has been established to capture the lethal accuracy of the tries scored by City Of Derry and what follows is the tries compilation from the Rainey Old boys post-Christmas 012 – it’s scary!
COD RFC Vs Rainey RFC Tries
[youtube YieNoWj9oQo]
At the 2012 IRFU 7s city of Derry RFC came to the finals knowing that they had the ability to win but were charting new territory in terms of their own confidence, as they are amongst the best backs in Ireland they decided to have a go and play an attacking, aggressive rugby with emphasis on defense when required but insisting on scoring tries every time they had the ball. It’s quite simple, they win by scoring more tries than the opposition which requires accurate ruthless defense and attack. They actually had a few forwards with them also. Anyway they beat Garryowen who are a whole league above them in AIL, this one game was part of a tribute to coach Bevan Lynch but first and foremost it was pride in themselves and the smile on their face attitude they bring to their game – AWEOME – the guys react next after that victory.
InTouch Rugby Presents: Players Reaction After Winning semifinal spot Final City Of Derry RFC
[youtube 8tyx39wzPoE]
City OF Derry Forwards can play just as good a rugby as the backs, but when it comes to scrum time it’s their area where they excel. This applies to every aspect of their forward play. IT is phenomenal and a testament to their dedication and aggression, opposition teams simply wilt in the face of this, it takes constant work and we managed to catch up with prop Chris Shield at a training session last summer before the 11/12 season in which they nearly reached the play off stages. Chris comments on his style of playing prop and what it means to him to excel
City Of Derry RFC TV: Christopher Shields Comments On Playing Top Flight Loose head Prop
[youtube FeCbkfDmei4]
Now watch this clip and feel the power of a City Of Derry Scrum – I have never seen a scrum machine with such a tightly closed brake and as many people on it.
city of Derry scrum
[youtube nw0ydZ5DZBc]
Stephen Corr I XV player now comments on what it means to part of the side and journey from the depths of relegation to the continuing heights of excelling
[youtube 6xX6BAZdCtk]
Bob McKillopp is a legend within the City Of Derry RFC community he is one of these guys (& Derry has quite a few of them) who has body that keeps on playing at the highest level, he has seen the times when Derry have had to dig deeper than they ever thought possible, in a frank and open interview he gives some thoughts now on the club
[youtube 35XW9NPK1yQ]
Brian Prue is one of the anchors across the I & II XV extended squad. Always pushing for the I XV team this spirit of competitiveness makes for a healthy atmosphere where you earn your place, Brian comments on the II XV
[youtube AFvBQ9qKaLY]

James Doherty brings an enthusiasm for rugby and a rugby mentality to the coaching @ City Of Derry RFC and having recently coached the Ulster Championship Ladies team there is a superb focus from James on perfection and leaving nothing to chance, he comments here at the start of the 2011/12 season
[youtube nVCUup-V9TM]

Finally for this section some clips of training and the summer tag rugby

[youtube CmySPP1NQAc]

InTouch Rugby Presents: City Of Derry RFC Tag
[youtube MD7pc4tPKxs]

The organisation of the club and challenges from a financial point of view are eased somewhat by the successes on the pitch and two stalwarts of the club who have contributed immensely both on and off the pitch comment next

Treasurer Neil Stewart comments next on keeping the books balanced and meeting the challenge of the recession head on
[youtube fUh-WiEeDGo]
Secretary Robbie Fleming eats, breathes and sleeps rugby, he comments here on that role
[youtube _vlslKce_qc]

History of City of Derry Rugby Football Club

The history of a rugby club needs to be documented and pictures are very important in this process, we caught up with club photographer Bernard Doherty at the beginning of the 2011/12 season
[youtube rtF3CVDM7ks]

City of Derry Rugby Football club was established in 1881 – although there is evidence that rugby football was played in the city before that date.

The first trophy won by City of Derry was the Irish Provincial Town’s Cup in 1882/83 season – a feat to be repeated seven times by 1900. In the 1900’s the club struggled in organization and playing strength and withdrew from the senior league in 1907 – not to re-enter that league for nearly sixty years.

In the 1920’s the club played at Duncreggan and then at the rectory field in the Waterside, which was its home for nearly thirty years. The emergence of the North West league renewed interest in rugby football with the club winning the Town’s Cup on two occasions in the mid-thirties. During the war years the club survived through the enthusiasm of a few members.

The club celebrated it 75th anniversary in 1957 and decided to seek its own grounds and build a pavilion. This it did in 1960 when it acquired land at Branch Road. In 1965 the club opened its new pavilion and three pitches and with the club in full gear attained senior status following the recommendation of the Butler Committee in 1966. This was the era that saw the emergence of one of the club’s most distinguished players – Ken Goodall who became a British Lion and gained 19 caps for Ireland, thus following in the footsteps of the legendary Noel Henderson another British Lion who gained 40 caps for Ireland.

The club retained its senior status until 1977/78 when it was relegated to division two of the Ulster League. These were dark days for the club – with two pavilions being destroyed following bomb attacks in 1979/80 the club showed tremendous spirit and Ian Crowe earned promotion to division one of the Ulster league and thus regained its senior status.

In 1992 the club decided to sell Branch Road to the I.D.B. and move to Judge’s Road – the clubs present home. A fine clubhouse was built, along with playing pitches, an all-weather pitch for hockey and a cricket square. This was the re-birth of City of Derry cricket Club and arrival of ladies hockey – Priorians Hockey Club.

During 2000 the engineered 1st XV pitch had flood lights added and plans are currently under way to provide a second flood lit engineered pitch and a flood lit engineered training area.

City of Derry 1st XV are currently in Division 2 of the All Ireland League and enjoyed one of our best seasons in 1999/2000 when we won both the Ulster League and Senior Cup and pushed for promotion in the AIL throughout the season, finishing a creditable sixth place.

City of Derry have always strived to have a good youth policy and during 1996/97, the club persuaded Derry City Council to fund a Youth Development Officer (YDO) for rugby in the city and surrounding areas. Great inroads were made by the YDO who extended the experience of rugby beyond the two grammar schools to all secondary schools in the city as well as adjacent areas of Strabane and Co. Donegal.

The IRFU recognised the success of Youth Development in the North West and set up a regional office in L’Derry which was officially opened by the Ulster Branch president in November 1997 and a regional Development Officer (RDO) was appointed on a three year contract and based in the L’Derry Office.

Our Club has an experienced Public Relations Office who established good links with local TV, Radio and Press. The level of cover by our local television and local radio (Radio Foyle and Highland Radio) has been excellent with live coverage of 1st XV matches and post match interviews live on air. All Local newspapers devote several pages each week to rugby previews and match reports with photographs.

The Club prides itself in its progressive spirit which has been instrumental in its growth and development over the past 120 years, and is currently well prepared to face the many fresh challenges which the ever changing game of rugby union will provide in the future.

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