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.
Blackrock's U-20s have had a superb season to date, clinching the JP Flanagan Leinster League recently by beating Dublin University 10-0 at Stradbrook and qualifying for the quarter final of the Fraser McMullen All-Ireland Under-20 Cup against Young Munster.
They went on to defeat Young Munster 19-15 last weekend in the quarter-final. UCC v UL Bohemians will contest the other semi-final.
Meanwhile, the 'Rock Under-20 Pennant team is also doing very well. They defeated Dublin University 30-28 at the weekend in a thrilling quarter-final of the Purcell Cup and they now play Seapoint in the semi-final.
MALAHIDE TOP UP FOR TOUR: A fundraising night has been planned for Friday, April 20 to help aid the women's team of Malahide RFC who are planning on a May Bank Holiday weekend tour to the Isle of Man.
Tickets are priced at €10 and can be bought behind the bar or from any member of the women's team. All support is appreciated.
The Malahide women play in Division Three. Anyone interested in becoming part of the women's set-up at the Dublin club should contact Karen O'Donnell at firstname.lastname@example.org. The squad train on Monday nights between 7 and 8pm at Broomfield, Back Road, Malahide (across from the castle).
NEWBRIDGE WOMEN ON THE DOUBLE: It was a weekend to remember for the Newbridge women's team. On Saturday, they made the long journey to Enniskillen to beat the Ulster side 12-0 to reach the Bowl semi-final against St. Mary's. Nikki Ni Caba and Muireann Walsh both touched down.
The next day they ventured south to Nenagh and qualified for the league promotion play-offs courtesy of a 7-5 win over the hosts. In total, Newbridge travelled 410 miles to notch those two victories - congratulations to all involved.
Newbridge join Armagh, Navan, Enniskillen and Clonmel in league's round robin stage, with the title and promotion up for grabs.
BOYNE BRACING THEMSELVES FOR GROUND SALE: The rescheduled auction of Boyne RFC's grounds at Shamrock Lodge will take place on Thursday, May 3.
Boyne have lodged their planning application with the Meath County Council for a new clubhouse and state of the art sporting facilities at their proposed new base at Mill Road.
The 18-acre site at Mill Road is about a mile inside Meath, to the west of the town. According to club development manager John Sheridan, the Mill Road development is expected to cost in the region of €12-€15 million.
The sale of the 10-acre Shamrock Lodge site, Lottery money and funds raised by the club will help finance the club's move.
The planned facilities at Boyne's new home ground will include a modern clubhouse, incorporating a restaurant, public bar, two function rooms and a self-contained gym.
The playing facilities will include a main pitch and three other pitches, including a junior pitch which will cater for the club's developing youth teams, as well we eight changing rooms of which five have their own physio rooms. Six of the changing rooms will be equipped with ice baths.
There will provisions for three meeting rooms, allowing for conferences and seminars, a children's playground, a power-walking/jogging track around the premises and a 254-bay car parking area.
Phase two of the development will include tennis and covered multi-purpose courts.
Boyne were formed through a merger between the Drogheda and Delvin clubs and finished fifth in this season's Leinster League Division One, having been in the top four for four consecutive years.
The club boasts over 700 members and field 21 teams in all, including four adult sides, a women's team and under-age teams from Under-7 to Under-18 level.
The club currently use three grounds - Shamrock Lodge, Delvin RFC's former base at Bryanstown and pitches at Drogheda Grammar School.
Previous players at Boyne include Shane Horgan, Neil Ronan, Mark McHugh and Shane Monahan, who recently won a Grand Slam with the Ireland Under-20s. One of the club's stated ambitions is to attain AIB League Division One status within the next ten years.