10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
The Rock of Cashel is one of the most famous landmarks in Ireland but drive out the other side of the town and you will find a much newer landmark built on very solid foundations.
Cashel RFC are rightly proud of their new clubhouse. Built with lottery funding, local support and old fashioned hard graft by the members, it has all the hallmarks of a community club.
The function room serves as a bingo hall and sometime 'after school' club, attracting more and more locals to the club.
Cashel were the Munster Junior Club of The Year for the 2010/11 and you would not bet against them winning the province's Senior Club of the Year award in the not too distant future.
There are brothers and cousins aplenty on the first team squad. Club captain Brendan O'Connor said: "It keeps you grounded. If you don't perform in training or a match your brother is the first to pull you up on it. There is great honesty in the team."
O'Connor, a Development Officer with Munster, has experience of top flight rugby. He followed in the footsteps of Cashel RFC's most famous son, Denis Leamy, and played for Cork Constitution.
Indeed, a number of the players nurtured in Cashel have played for the likes of Cork Con or Shannon in their university years.
Now they are back and Cashel's heart is beating stronger than ever. Club President Padraig Ryan underwent a heart bypass operation recently, but he still signed up for a third term as President. He told us about the honesty of effort and family values of the club.
Club rugby is going back to its roots with a focus on community, the amateur spirit and love of the game and a club like Cashel is right at the heart of it.
Related Links -