"The game has seen many changes over the lifetime of the league and although the advent of professionalism has shifted the rugby landscape, we must always remember that the club remains an important and unique element of the social fabric of our game.
The former Highfield player, President and current club member also underlined the commitment of the IRFU to the clubs of Ireland into the future.
"We are currently in the process of formulating a new strategic plan for the development of the game in Ireland over the next four years and the well-being of the grassroots game at club and schools level will be a priority in this plan as well as a personal one for myself," he added.
"Our current support structures with both Domestic Game Managers and Club Development Managers in place in each of the provinces, as well as the new Club Support Programme, will see funding increased and the continued development of the game at grassroots level."
He finished by saying: "Finally, as President of the IRFU for the 2007/08 season, I would like to take this opportunity to pass on my sincerest best wishes to all of the teams participating in the AIB League this season. This competition has been the mainstay of our club game since its inception and will remain so. Good luck to you all in your respective divisions."
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