There was a number of young Laois rugby players involved in the Leinster Schools Senior Cup this week.
Luke Rigney from Portlaoise, whose dad Des played at a high level with Buccaneers and was also heavily involved with Portlaoise over the years, was prop on the Newbridge College team that got the better of St Gerard’s in Templeville Road in Dublin on Wednesday.
Newbridge were 17-11 winners over the Bray school and now go forward to the quarter-finals where they will play a Belvedere College side that beat Cistercian College Roscrea on Thursday on a scoreline of 34-19 in Donnybrook.
That Roscrea team had two Laois players involved with Luc Culliton from Killenard in the second row and Adam Dunne from Ballyroan introduced to the backline after just eight minutes.
Culliton is a grandson of former Irish rugby international Gerry Culliton and son of Ronnie, who in his role as a financial advisor wrote a number of columns for LaoisToday. Luc also plays football for O’Dempsey’s.
Dunne was on the Ballyroan-Abbey team that won last year’s Laois minor football final. His dad Derek was the Clonad hurling manager last year and was also involved with the Down camogie team that reached last year’s All Ireland intermediate final.
There was also two Laois players involved with the Kilkenny College team that were beaten on Tuesday by St Michael’s. John Rogers from Abbeyleix was in the centre while Luke Kerr from Ballyfin was scrum-half.
Rogers, whose family own the Blackhill Woods retreat centre, has also played with the Laois minor footballers in recent years and with the Ballyroan-Abbey team in last year’s senior championship.
Kerr also played senior club football in Laois last year and was on the Ballyfin Gaels team, scoring a crucial goal in their relegation final win over Clonaslee Gaels.
Kerr’s twin sister Elva was a key player for the Kilkenny College hockey team that recently won the South East Senior Cup final for the second year running.
The quarter-finals will take place during the week of February 10-14 and will see Gonzaga take on Terenure, Clongowes play CUS or CBC Monkstown, Belvedere face Newbridge and a heavyweight clash involving St Michael’s and Blackrock.