18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
Former Irish Rugby International and NCI President, Philip Matthews, must be very proud of how this small college is now consistently competing on the national stage of Colleges rugby.
The Institute of Technology Carlow have invested heavily in sport and sports facilities in recent years and their appearance in all 3 men's finals on the day can be predominantly attributed to the Bachelor of Arts in Sports and Exercise Rugby programme. The course now running for 4 years at the Institute under the tutelage of Brett Igoe of Leinster Rugby.
IT Carlow 'B' will take on IT Tallaght in the Divison 2 decider. The South Dublin College is bolstered by former Terenure College and St.Mary's College schoolboys, Cathal Deans and Ronan Lennon as well Dylan Fawsitt, who is a regular with Greystones in the Ulster Bank League.
The Division 1 final brings Athlone IT and IT Carlow back to do battle in a repeat of last year's decider in which IT Carlow won their first ever title at this level. Both teams came through competitive semi finals with IT Carlow beating a Bernard Jackman coached Dublin City University by 25 points to 17 and Athlone IT beating Brendan O'Connor's Cork IT 26-20.
Although both teams will have injuries to contend with, IT Carlow have the distinct advantage of being call on the majority of last year's team with Karl Miller and Alan Kenny being prominent all season.
AIT coach Charlie Couper will be plotting to recapture the title and will be reliant on a strong Buccaneers contingent and especially full back John O'Brien, who notched a brace of tries in the semi final, if they are to do it.
National College of Ireland v IT Carlow 'C'
IT Carlow 'B' v IT Tallaght
Athlone IT v IT Carlow