The Ireland team for the forthcoming AIB Club International (v Scotland, Donnybrook, Friday, March 10 (7.35pm)) was named on Tuesday at a media conference in the AIB Bank Centre in Dublin.
The game is part of the IRFU/AIB Community Rugby Programme that was launched at the beginning of the season and gives non-contracted club players the opportunity to win representative honours for Ireland and to showcase the club game at the highest possible level. RTE Two will carry live coverage of the clash on the night with coverage beginning at 7.30pm.
The match 22 was selected from an initial squad of 38 players from 17 different clubs across all three divisions of the AIB League. The team will be captained by Buccaneers number eight David Quinlan.
Commenting on the AIB Club International, Maurice Crowley, General Manager, AIB said: "We are delighted, as sponsors of the Club International to be able to showcase the club game at this highest level. We believe that it's a fantastic initiative that allows our dedicated club players receive this greatest honour, and we look forward to it becoming a regular fixture in the club and International calendar."
The Ireland team to play Scotland in the AIB Club International on Friday, March 10 (Donnybrook, kick-off 7.35pm), is as follows:
15 - Denis Hurley (UCC)
14 - Niall O'Brien (Clontarf)
13 - Stephen Grissing (UCD)
12 - Glen Telford (Dungannon)
11 - Derek Keane (Clontarf)
10 - Gareth Steenson (Dungannon)
9 - Fiach O'Loughlin (Clontarf)
1 - Niall Conlon (Dublin University)
2 - Matt Crockett (Dublin University)
3 - Simon Shaw (Ballymena)
4 - Marc Warburton (Dublin University)
5 - Donnacha Ryan (Shannon)
6 - Peter Malone (Garryowen)
7 - Conor Hartigan (Buccaneers)
8 - David Quinlan (Buccaneers) (Captain)
16 - Kevin Corrigan (Lansdowne)
17 - Robert Sweeney (Clontarf)
18 - Alan Maher (Lansdowne)
19 - Kevin Croke (UCD)
20 - Gerry Hurley (Garryowen)
21 - David Delaney (Shannon)
22 - Ciaran O'Boyle (Garryowen)
Tickets for the game will be available for purchase at the gate and are priced at 15 (stand), 10 (terrace) and 5 for school children.
...Fiach O'Loughlin and David Quinlan, with AIB representative Thomas Magner and Ireland Club team manager Mick Galwey in the background...
Please note the criteria for eligibility for the AIB Club International team -
- Players must be eligible to play for Ireland
- Players must play club rugby in Ireland
Players who are NOT eligible for selection are -
- All players contracted to the IRFU professional teams, including development players
- All designated Club professional players
- No full time professional player who was contracted for more then three years
- Members of this seasons Ireland Under-21 team
The players in the squad were selected throughout the AIB League season to date with club coaches asked to put forward names of opposition players that had impressed them. In addition to this, a five-man team of selection advisors including Stephen Rooney, Philip Danaher, Finbar Dennehy, Ciaran Smith, and Hugh McCaughey have been monitoring games and recommending players for consideration.
The recommendations of the club coaches and selection advisors were then narrowed down by the Ireland Management team of: coach Geoff Moylan, manager Mick Galwey, assistant coach Gerald McCarter, assistant manager Donal Brennan and former Ireland and British & Irish Lions prop Phil Orr who is part of the management team and Chairman of the Selection Committee.