10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
The Charitable Trust was set up by the Union in 1978 to assist those players who are injured whilst playing rugby and to put in place a means to help, where possible, restore the players' confidence and to assist them in their daily lives.
In promoting this fixture, Ballymena RFC and former Ulster, Ireland and Lions winger Trevor Ringland hope it will become an annual event where the Ballymena Barbarians will play the winners of the Ulster Schools Senior Cup.
Ringland, a committee member of the IRFU Charitable Trust, explained a bit more about the very important work of the Trust.
"Rugby, like many other sports, is a game that is not without risk. Injuries are a reality and over the years there have unfortunately been a number of players seriously injured involving various degrees of paralysis," he said.
"In a sport which has friendship at the very core of its ethos, the IRFU Charitable Trust was brought into existence in 1978 in order to care and provide assistance to our injured friends. We now have 34 seriously injured players.
"Nobody can help make up for the loss which some of our players have suffered but through its very active committee, the Trust maintains regular contact with each of them and their families.
"It also helps with locomotory expenses, specialised equipment (such as lifting equipment, beds or wheelchairs), home alterations, medical expenses, nursing and caring costs.
"This is not an exhaustive list but it gives an indication of the kind of help provided. Over the past few years the Trust has distributed around £200,000 per annum.
"To fund this assistance, the Trust relies upon regular substantial grants from the IRFU itself, donations and fundraising events.
"On behalf of the Trust I would like to thank Ballymena Academy, Cambridge House and Methody, together with the members of Belfast Harlequins and my own club Ballymena, for first of all coming up with the idea of the match and then working to make it a reality."
For further information on the match and the day's events, please contact Ray Buchanan at Ballymena RFC (tel: (028) 2565 6746 or (028) 2564 8131).