5 Dec, 14:49
The Ireland Under-19 squad to face Australia Schools at Ravenhill on Saturday week (December 14) has been announced.
New IRFU President Andy Crawford reiterated his commitment to supporting the club game in Ireland at a recent night to celebrate his appointment.
As a former flanker and President of Dungannon RFC, Portadown-based Crawford knows only too well the value of the club system to Irish rugby.
The first member of the County Tyrone club to assume the role of Union President since Major Robert Stevenson in 1912/13, Crawford is to visit as many clubs as possible throughout the country during the 2005/06 season to underline his commitment.
"I am a club man at heart and, in this 'The Year of the Club' in Irish rugby, I intend to devote my time towards promoting and supporting the club game," said Crawford, a Dungannon club member since 1958, on his return to Stevenson Park.
"I intend to visit as many clubs in Ireland as my presidential duties permit.
"And I am strongly of the view that the success of the Irish and provincial professional teams are dependant on a strong club base.
"The club game has to be nurtured as the grass roots and rock on which the whole structure depended," added the former Ulster player.
Dungannon, meanwhile, have received a boast less than a fortnight ahead of the start of the new AIB All-Ireland League campaign.
'Gannon's official sponsors First Trust Bank, who have offered their backing for the past 14 years, have renewed their sponsorship for the 2005/06 season.