The tournament involves 32 nations divided into four divisions. Ireland are seeded second in the first division by virtue of their outstanding performance in 2007 when they were undefeated but finished as runners-up to hosts France after losing a penalty shoot out in the final by 4-3.
In this year's tournament, the Irish will face seventh seeds Russia in their opening match. This game will be played on Sunday, March 16 in Casale sul Sile (kick-off 4pm local time).
The winners will meet whoever comes through the England v Georgia match on Wednesday, March 19 and depending on the outcome of that game, the victors are likely to face either host nation Italy or last year's champions France in the play-off finals on Saturday, March 22 in Bennetton Treviso's stadium (Stadio Comunale di Monigo).
The tournament will conclude with a banquet for the 1000-plus players, management and organisers on Saturday evening before the teams depart for home on Sunday, March 23.
From last year's successful Ireland squad, Gavin Duffy, David McGregor, David McIlwaine, Conor Higgins, Dermot Murphy, John O'Brien, Mark Flanagan and Sean Dougall are in the current Ireland Under-19 squad, while last year's captain Eamonn Sheridan is currently playing for the Ireland Under-20 Six Nations side.
Add to this the fact that a further five members of last year#s squad - Niall Earls, Adam Kennedy, Paul Molloy, Charlie Armstrong and James Robinson - have been included in this year's U-18 Clubs selection again and one can really start to see the potential benefits this team offers to Irish rugby.
You can keep up to date with how the Ireland Under-18 Clubs squad is progressing in the European Championship by visiting us here on http://www.irishrugby.ie/ or by logging onto the FIRA-AER website.
To view IrishRugby.ie's dedicated tournament section, please click here.
Unfortunately, two players from the originally named Ireland squad have had to pull out of the tournament due to injury. Charlie Armstrong (Mounts Bay/Exiles) and Ben Doyle (Wicklow/Leinster) have had to be replaced by James Simpson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) and Robert Kennedy (Longford/Leinster) respectively.
IRELAND UNDER-18 CLUBS SQUAD (2008 FIRA-AER European U-18 Championship, Venetia, Italy):
James Robinson (Corinthians/Connacht) (capt)
Josh Bennett (Gloucester/Exiles)
Andrew Boyle (St. Brigid's/Leinster)
Kieran Brookes (Fylde/Exiles)
Shane Casey (Castlebar/Connacht)
Tchad Collins Francois (Truro College/Exiles)
Mark Dolan (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Kailyn Domican (Naas/Leinster)
Niall Earls (Wicklow/Leinster)
Karl Egan (Corinthians/Connacht)
Willie Gribben - Manager
Greg Lynch - Head Coach
Jimmy Duffy - Assistant Coach
Dan Van Zyl - Technical Support
Antoine Mobian - Fitness & Conditioning Coach
John Quinlan - Team Doctor
Barry Smith - Physiotherapist
Lenny Browne - Video Analyst
Tom Nyham - Logistics