Michael Russel, Youth Engagement Officer with the Positive Youth Foundation was last week called up to the Irish Rugby team senior squad for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
The tournament, which will be held in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea and will be the fifteenth staging of the Rugby League World Cup and Mikey will feature in the Irish squad as a travelling reserve.
Michael, or ‘Mikey’, as he’s known by our young people, regularly leads sessions at the Positive Youth Foundation and has become a valued member of the team. Mikey also plays professional rugby with local rugby team, Coventry Bears, joining them from Irish Domestic League team Barnhall Butchers in 2016.
Having previously represented Ireland at Under-19 level, ‘A’ team and as part of the senior team during World Cup qualifying, Mikey already has experience on the international stage.
Before setting out to join the Irish team in Dubai, Mikey took part in a workshop at Blue Coat school, leading a session for a group of pupils and sharing his top rugby tips. During the session, the pupils questioned Mikey about all aspects of professional rugby and his experiences with the Irish national team.
As part of the session, Mikey worked 1-on-1 with the pupils, teaching them how to kick, throw and tackle as they do in Rugby League.
As Mikey ventures onto the world stage at the Rugby League World Cup, we couldn’t be prouder of him and we wish both Mikey and the Irish squad all the luck of the Irish!