As part of the Windsor Motors partnership with Leinster Rugby, as their official vehicle suppliers, we were delighted to bring 4 of the most popular Leinster players down to Greystones Rugby Football Club last Sunday, November 25th.
Sunday morning being the kid’s day in Greystones, every pitch was packed with lots of matches and training sessions taking place throughout Dr Hickey Park. We also had catering for the parents, with teas and coffees, a breakfast barbecue, and a display of the Windsor Nissan range of cars from our Windsor Bray Nissan dealership, including the Nissan Micra, Nissan Qashqai, Nissan X-Trail and Nissan NV200.
Our 4 Leinster players; James Lowe, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ed Byrne, and Bryan Byrne; were keen to get involved in everything. They spent time with each and every age-group’s team to run some training drills, give hints and tips about being successful rugby players, answer any and all questions the kids and parents had and, most importantly, signing autographs and taking selfies!
Leinster’s ace New Zealander Winger and Windsor Motors’ Brand Ambassador, James Lowe, caused huge excitement as he ran kicking drills, gave some important tips about tackling, and answered all the questions put to him. Well, all but the big question on everyone’s lips: “when will you play for Ireland?”. He remains tight-lipped on this but couldn’t hide his typically huge smile each time the question was put to him.
Being such a hugely popular figure in Leinster since signing for the club in 2017, naturally everyone wanted a selfie and autograph from the big left-winger. With his trademark big smile on his face, he was more than happy to do a huge signing session with the kids. With more than 100 lining up for a signature, he joyfully signed every boot, jersey, ball and flag presented to him, ensuring no child (or parent) went home empty handed. (Whoever got him to sign an Ireland Flag, hold on to that and bring it to his first game in green!).
Leinster’s other Kiwi player, scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park, also came down for some training. “JGP” gave the kids some great insight into how youth rugby in Ireland differs from New Zealand, where, unlike Ireland, rugby is the #1 sport. However, he also heaped praise on the Leinster Youth System which has seen a wealth of new young talent rise through the academy’s ranks to wear the Blue Jerseys in recent years (Jordan Larmour & James Ryan to name a few).
In his first visit to a Leinster youth club, Gibson-Park was particularly impressed with the huge turnout of young players taking part in training and matches on a bitterly cold November morning. He encouraged the kids to hold on to that dedication and love of the sport, and to keep training hard so that one day soon they can wear the Blue jersey too – reminding them that recent debutante Scott Penney is only 19, so they might not have too long to wait for their own shot.
Rounding out the quartet of players were twin brothers Bryan and Ed Byrne. The lads were sporting some big bruises from their huge game against Ospreys on Friday. This didn’t get their spirits down, though, as they romped over 52 points against the Welsh side, both getting their name on the score-sheet in the process. Loosehead prop Ed scored off a maul for try #5, before completing the game in the dream fashion, with an offload Brian O’Driscoll would be proud of, to set up brother Bryan for the 7th and final try of the game.
The brothers took part in the Q&A sessions also, giving great advice to any young forward players to continue to work on their ball handling skills as much as their strength, as this was a huge factor in helping the lads get over the try line on Friday. (Ed even displayed some of his own strength with a round of push-ups). Being Leinster-boys born and bred, the brothers know first-hand just how good the Leinster Youth Academy is, and were able to give the Greystones Players some great insight into how to succeed at Club Level and progress into the Academy and on to the Starting XV in the RDS.