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Leinster Rugby welcome 'Culture Captain' Andrew McCarthy into squad as part of Energia's Rugby for All initiative
PICTURE:
NOVEMBER 01 2023
Seapoint Dragons’ Andrew McCarthy will link up with the Leinster Rugby squad as their ‘Culture Captain’ forming part of Energia’s Rugby for All initiative, which promotes participation in rugby among those with physical and learning differences.
Seapoint Dragons’ Andrew McCarthy will link up with the Leinster Rugby squad this week as their ‘Culture Captain’ forming part of Energia’s Rugby for All initiative, which promotes participation in rugby among those with physical and learning differences. Andrew, who has Down Syndrome and is brother of Leinster Rugby players Paddy and Joe McCarthy, will be integrated into the squad ahead of their match against Edinburgh Rugby.  
 
During the week, Andrew will have the opportunity to connect with the players, coaches, and staff, and gain firsthand experience of the rigorous preparation and dedication of professional rugby while helping to positively impact the team culture and atmosphere. Andrew’s integration is seen as a positive development for Leinster Rugby as they gain a different perspective to enhance a positive team atmosphere. The development also reflects the Leinster Rugby’s commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and fostering a culture of belonging for everyone involved.  
 
Energia have conducted extensive research to understand the landscape of the game for those with physical and learning difficulties. From the resulting research findings, Energia have planned a significant level of activity over the remainder of the partnership with Leinster Rugby which runs to 2028.  
“Energia's goal is to help grow participation in the game of rugby among people with physical or learning difficulties to over 1,000 players in 40 clubs in Leinster by 2028.” 
 
Leinster Rugby Head Coach, Leo Cullen expressed his enthusiasm for Andrew McCarthy's involvement:  
"We are thrilled to have Andrew join us as our 'Culture Captain' for this week. He’s been welcomed in by the squad, most of whom would know him through his brothers Joe and Paddy. We’ve already been fortunate to see the energy and enthusiasm he’s brought into the squad environment which we feel will continue to have a positive impact on the team culture." 
 
Energia Sponsorship Manager, Lorna Danaher commented: 
"We see Andrews’s integration into the Leinster Rugby squad as a really positive development for diversity and inclusion in the rugby landscape. As part of our Rugby for All initiative promoting rugby among those with physical and learning differences, our research has shown that awareness and visibility are two key barriers to growing participation. With that in mind, we hope that others can take inspiration from the positive impact Andrew is having on the Leinster team, and the enjoyment he is getting out of the experience himself."