Buccaneers RFC is more than just a rugby club, it’s a way a life for the people of Athlone. Situated on the River Shannon, the town in the core of Ireland’s midlands is inseparably interwoven with the club which has seen ages of families get through its positions.
Among the players, the club has fostered over the years is Ireland international and British & Irish Lions tourist Robbie Henshaw, who became Lion No.824 in New Zealand in 2017. Rugby fans can book Lions vs Japan Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.
Like so many at Buccaneers, Henshaw’s father Tony and uncle David had also played for the club before him – with the latter going on to represent Connacht during the 1990s.
Truth be told, the significance of family penetrates pretty much every part of Buccaneers and it’s the motivation behind why club president Eamon Collins accepts rugby goes through the veins in Athlone.
“Everybody that comes to the club enjoys playing, there is a great sense of community in the club, they come in at under six and they never seem to leave because they like it so much,” he said.
Feeling of family
There’s extraordinary cooperation, order, satisfaction, and sportsmanship around the spot and there’s a genuine feeling of family – that is what is so incredible about the club. The Henshaws have been in the club, their dad and uncles have played at the club and they have done a dreadful parcel at the club since they began playing.
Robbie is still included, he’s an extraordinary representative for our club and we’re exceptionally glad for him. Buccaneers are at the core of Athlone and rugby is everything in Athlone. Everyone needs to play, everybody needs to be included and the huge issue we have is attempting to encourage all these youthful players.
They all need to become the”People come and join the club as underage players and when their playing profession completes, they regularly proceed with the club as managers, mentors, officials, and whatever else. It very much passes through the generations.
If you look back through the history of the club, it goes from generation to generation as it does with the Henshaws. The club’s name originates from the Shannon Buccaneers, which was founded by Diarmuid Murtagh in the 1930s and fielded players such as 1938 Lions captain Sammy Walker.
World War II
But after World War Two forced the club to fold and be disbanded, it wasn’t until the formation of the Athlone Rugby Football Club in 1951 that rugby was revived in the town. Rugby fans can book British & Irish Lions vs Brave Blossoms Japan Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.
All the more as of late, in the 1993/94 season, Athlone and Ballinasloe amalgamated to contend in the All-Ireland League before in the end changing their name to Buccaneers RFC.
Leo Galvin was one of the people who were instrumental in the alliance with Ballinasloe, which ended in 2005/06, and he was the first Athlone clubman to play senior rugby for Ireland. Furthermore, with Jack Carty and Henshaw since continuing in the strides of Galvin, Buccaneers media official Michael Silke accepts their ascent through the positions that have motivated the people to come.
“We have supplied several players to Connacht and several lads were in the Connacht squad, including Jack Carty and Robbie Henshaw when they won the PRO12 title in 2016,” he said.
Athlone is a garrison town and garrison towns are traditionally soccer towns. We have a lot of competition from Gaelic soccer as we have six very good GAA clubs within five miles.
There are bunches of rivalry for players so the way that youthful fellows began coming through and wearing the green of Ireland and Robbie and Jack played senior rugby for Ireland. We have around 400 children now at the club, a lot more than when I previously engaged with the club.
We have 25 groups altogether from grown-ups and We have 25 teams in total from adults and the Under-20s down to the minis. There was great excitement around the place and pride when Robbie was selected for the Lions in 2017. To get players coming through and playing for Ireland U20s was a great achievement.
“But when you have guys like Robbie making the senior Ireland squad and then being included in the last British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand, it was incredible for the club.”
Buccaneers have enjoyed plenty of success on the field themselves over the years, winning the Connacht Senior League 12 times and the Connacht Senior Cup on eight occasions.
Among those currently representing the club is first team captain Evan Galvin, who like Henshaw before him, was introduced to Buccaneers through his family’s long association with the club.
And Galvin, the nephew of Leo, hopes the example set by Lions tourist Henshaw can keep the conveyer belt of youngsters coming through the ranks at Buccaneers for years to come.
“There is a family feel to the club. Young kids come down and play and if they enjoy it, they stick at it. There’s also a core volunteer group of parents who support,” he said.
There are chaps in the past that have done so as well and it shows there’s a decent love for the game here. There is advancement in the Midlands of Ireland, with players proceeding to speak to the club and the territory and afterward the nation and the Lions. The club is glad for the lads.
They consistently give their future time down and help out with underage meetings. It inspires young lads to play. If you’re a young kid and you see someone like that it’s great. There is a lot of sports that the lads can play at an early age.
So these young lads who play rugby must be inspired to keep playing and stick at it, be the next Robbie Henshaw.
“If they can be inspired to keep playing from the younger ages groups through to the first team, that’s a pathway we’ve shown is there and it’s important to inspire that next generation.”