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The Festival Days were launched last season under the auspices of Exiles manager Mark Blair who was delighted with the success of the days.

They will commence this Sunday (February 12) at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Wakefield, for the North/Scotland regions, and continue on Monday (February 13) at Towcester RFC for the Midlands region.

They will recommence at Dorking RFC for London and the South-East on Wednesday, February 15 and the final session will be at Nailsea & Backwell RFC, on Sunday, February 26, for the South-West/Wales regions.

The Exiles system has been key in identifying Irish-qualified players and channeling them through the age grades.

In recent seasons Rhys Ruddock captained the Ireland Under-20s, won a Test cap for Ireland in New Zealand and is on a full-time contract with Leinster.

Last Friday another young exile Kieran Marmion lined out for the Ireland U-20s as they faced Wales at Dubarry Park.

Kieran had already played for Ireland at Under-18 and Under-19 level and is now a member of the Connacht Academy set-up. He came into the Ireland U-20s last season and played at the IRB Junior World Championship last June.

The Festival Days are a key part in identifying future players, giving them advice and guiding them on a career in professional rugby.

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19 June 2018
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