Matthew Earley pictured with his brother Charlie and mother Kathy after Connacht's victory last Saturday
Leitrim mightn't be known as a rugby stronghold but that could be changing as two young players from the county tasted U18 Inter Provincial glory last weekend but with different teams!
Leitrim Village's Matthew Earley and Fenagh's Tom Gilheaney both won U18 Inter Provincial titles at the University of Limerick last Saturday.
Matthew, a member of Carrick-on-Shannon Rugby Club who attends Sligo Grammar School, helped Connacht secure a famous victory in the U18 Clubs series while Tom, who goes to school in Clongowes Wood College in Kildare, was a member of the Leinster team who won the Schools competition.
The Connacht Club/ Schools team faced the Ulster, Leinster & Munster Club teams while Tom's Leinster schools team took on their counterparts from Munster & Ulster schools as well as an Irish Qualified team which involves players who have come through the IRFU Exiles programme.
Earley started Connacht's last game against Ulster while Gilheaney started for Leinster against the Irish Qualified team and both saw action off the bench in the other two games held as part of a Festival of Rugby at UL over a week.
Both young players are also noted gaelic footballers with both lining out with County teams, Earley keeping goal for the Leitrim U17s this year.
The IRFU hopes that the new look Tournament will have helped expose some of the most promising young Irish prospects to a professional-style rugby environment.
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