Playing rugby at Rathkeale, for me, definitely shaped my perspective on what a team can achieve through sheer guts, camaraderie and determination. Being involved in the CNI competition has been a game changer for my rugby individually and also the schools idea on rugby. Being exposed to an increase in player ability, skill level and sheer size has generated an environment where we, as a small school were challenged physically more often than not. This also has positive influences on players and the team.
My final year of rugby at Rathkeale has been by far my most enjoyable year and this was provided from the bunch of lads that I was playing with. With a strong coaching group we all had a common goal we wanted to achieve, and that was to remain competetive and strong in the CNI competition. With all of the three words I mentioned in the beginning, we all shared the culture of belief, team spirit and guts. We started playing rugby and training harder and more accurately than we ever had before. Competing strongly against teams we normally would consider too strong to compete against, adopting a strong team culture; we were all mates, and my personal higjhlight of the season, beating Lindisfarne college in an absolute thriller. For the first time in 9 years we had achieved something no one expected, in my eyes a turning point for Rathkeale rugby. For me, I know last year contributed strongly towards my success on the rugby field and earning a rugby scholarship. With the training and advice communicated smoothly between player and coach we have been able to build hugely on being game ready and prepared. Things are only looking up for Rugby at Rathkeale.
Tom McKay (2012-2016)
Lincoln University Rugby Scholarship 2017