The Irish Rugby Legends, captained by Mick Galwey, jet off to Durban on Friday 16th June, giving the boys a few days to acclimatise ahead of their opening game against New Zealand the following Tuesday.
Next up for the Irish is a clash with England on Thursday 22nd followed by what promises to be a bruising encounter with Argentina the following Saturday.
Legends Rugby is the brainchild of John Allan, former Springbok and Scotland hooker and the aim of Legends Rugby' is to highlight the need to support amateur rugby at all levels.
The festival promises to be a wonderful rugby occasion with around 250 ex-international players competing alongside veteran, school and club teams from across the globe.
The inaugural World Rugby Legends Festival will be held at various venues in the Durban region from 19 - 24 June 2006. This prestigious event will, for the first time in the history of rugby, incorporate teams from all sectors of the amateur game. Never before, under one umbrella and at the same venue, have clubs, schools, Legends and veterans rugby teams assembled under the same banner.
New Zealand 28 Ireland 5 Westville Boys High School
England 10 Ireland 12, Jaguars Rugby Club
Ireland Argentina, ABSA Stadium
FORMER British Lion and recently Ulster retiree Tyrone Howe scored two tries last night as the Irish Legends registered their first win at the world festival in Durban, writes Richard Mulligan.
Ireland defeated England 12-10 to set up a do-or-die battle against Argentina tomorrow.
Ireland had the upper hand in the opening exchanges at a rain-swept Jaguars RFC ground.
Howe sprung in the seventh minute when he broke down the left flank, chipped ahead, grabbed the difficult bouncing ball and went in for the try.
Irish captain Mick Galwey converted to make it 7-0.
Typically, England came back and in spite of some furious Irish defending, prop Martin Hynes went in for an unconverted try to leave Ireland leading 7-5 at the interval.
Dungannon's Paul Magee made a try-saving tackle in the early exchanges of the second half as England laid siege of the Irish line.
But having weathered the storm, invigorated by new front legs in Raymond Acheson, Phil Orr and Harry Rolston, Ireland dug in and when former Ulster scrum half Andy Matchett chipped over the defence, Howe bulldozed through Jon Eagle for a try which went unconverted by Galwey.
A nervous ending was guaranteed when England's Christopher O'Toole, from an obvious offside position, took a cross-field kick from Robert Wiley and scored in the corner.
Wiley's conversion just skimmed the upright.
England pressed again but when the Irish turned over ball, Matchett's clearance to touch signalled time for great celebrations to begin.
Irish manager and former British Lion, Paul Wallace, hailed the Irish team saying: ''We played good, sensible and controlled rugby and we were the better team on the night.''
Ireland face Argentina tomorrow knowing victory still gives an outside chance of making the final, but that depends on the classy All Blacks losing against England.