The IRFU Exiles have produced players of the calibre of Simon Geoghegan in the past, but more and more young Irish-qualified players see the Exiles as a pathway to a career in the professional game. We spent the day at their regional finals in London to understand their passion for Irish rugby.
Sunday, March 3 represents a major day in the Exiles' calendar. The Exiles Inter Regional Championship will be held on the famous London Irish ARFC grounds in Sunbury, and is a competitive environment in which we can identify players to be selected to attend our National Assessment Camp.
This Friday, on the eve of the England v Ireland Six Nations match, the Irish Exiles are playing against a select Welsh team at the Trailfinders Sports Club, Caste Bar, Vallis Way, West Ealing, W13 0DD. Kick-off is at 4pm and all support is welcome.
On an extremely foggy day in Sunbury on Thames, the Exiles Under-18s defeated their Welsh Exiles counterparts 31-3. This was the last Exiles fixture before Christmas and they certainly finished with a festive flourish.
It has been confirmed today that Bank of Ireland has agreed to become the main sponsor of Munster Rugby from July 2013. The sponsorship includes exclusive branding of all playing and training kit for the Munster senior and 'A' squads.
After 22 rounds and two play-off games, the 2012/13 RaboDirect PRO12 season wraps up on Saturday with the final at the RDS appropriately between respective first and second seeds and provincial rivals, Ulster and Leinster.
Previewing Saturday's RaboDirect PRO12 final against Leinster with Cóilín Duffy, Ulster winger Andrew Trimble said: "We really motivated for this game. People are talking about us being the best Ulster side in a few years, we had that record of 13 wins in a row at the start of the year. We want to win trophies, and there's no point having those records unless we back them up."
Ulster hooker Rory Best spoke to IrishRugby.ie's Cóilín Duffy ahead of Saturday's RaboDirect PRO12 final against Leinster at the RDS, discussing the match itself and how he is looking forward to captaining Ireland during next month's summer tour to North America.
The Leinster squad trained in UCD today ahead of Saturday's RaboDirect PRO12 final against Ulster at the RDS (kick-off 4.45pm), with several injury concerns for the management to contend with arising from the Amlin Challenge Cup final victory.
Samoan international James So'oialo will join the Connacht squad this summer. So'oialo, who played in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, was recently named in the Samoan squad for their upcoming tour to South Africa where they will face Scotland, Italy and the Golden Lions.
Following the epic Dublin 2013 finals which featured Heineken Cup success for Toulon and an Amlin Challenge Cup victory for Leinster, there was good news on the qualification front for Connacht and Perpignan who both secured places in the 2013/14 Heineken Cup.