10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Budweiser Tag venues include some of Ireland's most prestigious clubs in the country such as Old Belvedere RFC, Garryowen FC, Galway Corinthians RFC and Ballymena RFC.
All host clubs involved in the League stand to benefit financially with the commitment from the IRFU that all revenue generated from the Tag Leagues will be channelled back to the host clubs.
In addition to the weekly fixtures, four Beach Tag Festivals and four Provincial Festivals will take place at venues around the country during the season.
The competition will culminate in the first Budweiser Tag All-Ireland Open Championship where Tag Rugby teams from venues all over the country join in the battle for the crown of Champions of Ireland in a one-day blitz of Tag action.
Another key element of Budweiser Tag will be the standard of officials with all fixtures overseen by officially qualified and sanctioned tag referees, which is highlighted by the endorsement of Alain Rolland for the League opener.
To kick off this year's Budweiser Tag League, Munster and Ireland lock Donncha O'Callaghan will be lining out with his own Select 7 tag team which will play against a team chosen at random from all the teams who apply by emailing email@example.com giving their names, team name and location.
Making sure Donncha's team play by the rules will be Rolland, the World Cup final referee, who will officiate at the Budweiser Tag showcase curtain raiser in May.
Commenting on the announcement, Michael Whelan, Sponsorship Director at DIAGEO, said: "Tag Rugby has been a phenomenon in Ireland mostly due to the fact that it is as much about the sociable and fun aspect of the game as it is about the competition. We believe it's a great fit for the Budweiser brand and we're delighted to team up with the IRFU on this sponsorship.
"Having Donncha and Alain on board adds an extra special element to the launch of the League in May and, come rain or shine this summer, we hope that everyone taking part will follow them in getting into the fun of Budweiser Tag."
Also commenting, Padraig Power, the IRFU's Commercial and Marketing Director, said: "The sponsorship support from Budweiser will be a huge boost to the IRFU Tag League and can only add to the experience for anyone taking part this summer.
"Tag is a fantastic way for people to get involved in the game of rugby and have a bit of fun with it along the way. So whether you're lining out with your mates in the Budweiser Tag League or playing with your local club, you'll be one of over 100,000 people playing some form of rugby in Ireland this year which is great news for the game in general."