We have all the action from today’s All Ireland U21 Rugby Festival Castle Trophy in our Live Score Centre.
Former Lions and Ireland rugby internationals Fergus Slattery and Hugo McNeill attended the re-launch of the Castle Trophy, an all Ireland U21 rugby festival, in Blackrock College RFC today.
The Friends First Castle Trophy will be up for grabs on Saturday 22nd September following a 30 year gap since it was last contested.
Blackrock College RFC are reintroducing the tournament to mark their 50th anniversary at their club headquarters in Stradbrook, where the original tournament first began in 1966.
The trophy, which is currently held by Old Wesley RFC, will be contested by hosts Blackrock College RFC and the eight teams that qualified into the play-offs of the Frazer McMullen competition earlier this year:UCD, Lansdowne, Old Belvedere, St Marys, Old Crescent, Garryowen, UL Bohs, Old Wesley. The tournament will return on an annual basis.
Speaking at the launch, Fergus Slattery said, “It has been a long time coming, but it is fantastic to see the return of The Castle Trophy. To secure the competitive future of Irish rugby, it is imperative that we give young players the opportunity to compete at a high-level and showcase their skills. I firmly believe that this tournament will set the standard.”
Tom Browne, Chief Financial Officer of sponsors Friends First, spoke proudly of their decision to support the event, “Friends First is delighted to sponsor the Castle Trophy tournament for the next three years. Together with Blackrock College RFC, we expect it to become the pre-eminent Under 21 tournament in Ireland, setting new standards in rugby excellence. We look forward to seeing some of these players compete at the top level of Irish Rugby in coming years.”
As well as the Castle Trophy, there will be a host of other events taking place at Stradbrook over the course of the weekend. On Sunday 23rd there will be an exhibition of touch rugby, a women’s AIL match and the Eric O’Connor Cup – an U11/12 rugby blitz in memory of Eric O’Connor, an enthusiastic member of the Under 11’s Minis Team, who sadly passed away earlier this year.