This team is responsible for all age-grade rugby-related matters at the club. It is chaired by the Director of Age-Grade Rugby.
Responsibilities include establishing the strategic direction of age-grade rugby, the development and execution of that strategy, establishing appropriate policies and procedures and ensuring they are understood, communicated and implemented, the recruitment, development and management of players and coaches at the club, and ensuring the achievement of the goals of age-grade rugby at the club.
Alison Nolan - Director Of Age-Grade Rugby
Ali is Director of Age-Grade Rugby, having previously been Head of Girls Rugby.
Ali began playing rugby when she joined NUIG's women's rugby team during her first year at the college and had a number of successful years with the team, reaching the intervarsity finals in 2010 and the Connacht League Final for three consecutive years, capturing the title in 2009. During her time at the college, Alison was heavily involved in the administration and organisation of the club and took up the position of Honorary Secretary for the 2010/11 season, as well as being installed as the captain of the women's section for that same period.
Ali is a masters student at UCD, also finds time to coach the Girls U15s and is a long-suffering Clare GAA fan.
GIRLS U18/U15s MANAGEMENT TEAM
Mere Baker - Head Coach
Mere is one of the most decorated female players in the game and has played representative rugby for New Zealand at 15s, 7s, is a world cup winner with New Zealand at rugby league, as well as winner of six Hong Kong 7s titles.
Mere is head coach of Railway’s Women’s sides, coaching the teams to Leinster League, The Paul Cusack Leinster Cup, and the Leinster Shield in 2012/13. Mere also coached the DCU Devils in 2012/13, winning coach of the year in DCU, and heads Railways Women’s and Girls’ 7s Academy.
Mere has previously coached Sydenham (Christchurch) to national 15s and 7s titles, KUSA 7s to international 7s titles and was a member of the Canterbury coaching staff for the New Zealand women’s ‘Going For Gold’ 7s programme. Mere coaches the girls U15 and U18 sides, as well as assisting with The Locos.
Blaise Kenny - Girls U18 Coach
Blaise is a current Railway player, having joined at Under 18 level in 2004. He was a member of the last Railway side to travel to South Africa on tour and has also played in Canada. Like many past and present Railway players, Blaise comes from the local secondary school, Marian College. With a background in basketball, rugby and soccer, Blaise was also School Captain, all-Ireland winning basketball captain and rugby captain.
Blaise previously worked for Railway and Leinster as a Youth Development Officer, coaching in many local primary and secondary schools. He also set up the successful under 17 Railway team that has led to some of those players breaking into the current under 20s and senior team.
Blaise was winner of Club Person of the Year in 2014.
Bernard Higgins - Girls U18 Coach
Bernard is an IRB/IRFU Level 1 coach and coaches the Girls U18s, having previously played the game and helped our on coaching for his son and daughter on various teams. Bernard works with Bank of Ireland in the property department with responsibility for Property / Facilities / Energy management across the building estate in Ireland & GB. Much travelled, Bernard has worked all over the world including London, Chicago and Spain.
Outside of Railway, Bernard is interested in reading biographies, movies and motor cycles.
Ali Bird - Girls U15 Coach
Ali is a self-confessed 'blow-in' from Carlow who spent her youth playing hockey and competing at national and international levels of equestrian events including show jumping. She has been a big supporter of rugby since her dad took her to see Carlow play in AIL Div 1 games (a long time ago!).
Ali joined railway last year and has played on both the womens 1st and 2nd XVs. She is a Science teacher in Marian College where she has been involved with the 1st year rugby team for two years and is delighted to get the opportunity to work with the Girls U15s this year.
Sarah Molan - Girls U15 Manager
Sarah comes to Railway after a blistering spell at Trinity rugby, where she played as a post graduate student for two seasons. While there she displayed her keen aptitude and versatility by playing practically every position on the pitch from full back, winger to scrumhalf. She took the position of team manager during her second season, which saw the Trinity side winning the Leinster plate.
Building on the success’s of last season, she is very much looking forward to being involved with the winning under age teams this year.