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Rugby Shorts: November 14

Rugby Shorts: November 14

…’A’ Interpro Fixture…Galwegians Go Barking…Former International Hewitt Passes Away…Blackrock Art Exhibition…On This Day: 1998: Ireland 70 Georgia 0…

‘A’ INTERPRO FIXTURE: Connacht supporters should get their first look at two of the province’s new overseas signings – Andrew Mailei and Gavin Williams – in tomorrow’s (Tuesday’s) ‘A’ Interprovincial clash with Ulster ‘A’ at Ballina’s Heffernan Park (kick-off 2.00pm).

Two of Ballina’s homegrown talents – Connacht Under-21 fly-half Peter Durcan and back row Philip Rowe, who scored a try for Dublin University in last Friday’s Colours match against UCD – are also expected to be included.

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Centre Mailei played in Saturday’s friendly international between Tonga and Italy in Prato. Unfortunately for Mailei and his Islander colleagues, the Azzurri ran riot for a 48-0 win.

Michael Bradley’s Connacht senior squad will be holding an open training session at Ballyhaunis rugby club from 11am onwards tomorrow.

GALWEGIANS GO BARKING: Club President Danno Heaslip and coach Paul Young were on hand recently to promote Galwegians’ latest fundraising night – this Saturday’s “Galwegians Go Barking” event at the Galway Greyhound Stadium.

All ‘Wegians players have entrance tickets for sale. Please buy from a Galwegian member, as tickets sold direct on the night do not benefit the club. Tickets cost 20 – anyone interested in bookings can contact Fidelma on 085 1231111.

VICTOR HEWITT PASSES AWAY: Former Ireland international Victor Hewitt, who was capped six times between 1935 and ’36, has died. He was 92.

Born in Belfast, Hewitt, a noted number 10, followed in his brothers Tom and Frank’s footsteps by playing against Scotland (Feb 1935), Wales (March 1935), New Zealand (December 1935), England, Scotland (both in February 1936) and Wales (March 1936).

His brothers Tom and Frank both made their Ireland debuts against Wales in 1924 – Frank, playing at fly-half, was still a schoolboy.

Victor scored the match-winning drop goal in the ’36 clash with Scotland, which Ireland won 10-4. His Ulster career was highlighted by the province’s 3-3 draw with the All Blacks in 1934, a match in which he played alongside war hero Lt. Col Blair (Paddy) Mayne.

Hewitt’s nephews – David Hewitt, John Hewitt and Gerald Gilpin – also played for Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s. The burial takes place on Wednesday (details to follow).

‘ROCK ART EXHIBITION: While Blackrock College made a picture perfect start to the AIB League season with two wins on the trot last month, the Dublin club will be hoping for similar results when they host an Art Exhibition at Stradbrook from Thursday, November 17-Sunday, November 20.

The Exhibition, officially opened by former Ireland international Fergus Slattery at 8.00pm this Thursday, will see the sale of original Oils, Water Colours, Ceramics, Sculptures, and Limited Edition Prints & Jewellery.

The viewing times are as follows: Thurs (6-8pm), Fri (2-9pm), Sat (2-8pm) and Sun (2-6pm).

ON THIS DAY: 1998: November 14, seven years ago, saw Georgia visit Lansdowne Road for a World Cup qualifier. Ireland, then coached by Warren Gatland, were in dominant form, running in ten tries, all of which were converted by Eric Elwood.

Gatland used the game to blood a new centre combination of then Northampton player Jonathan Bell and debutant Pat Duignan, who was born in Canada, educated in Australia and played his club rugby with Galwegians. Both scored tries.

The following week, Romania were beaten 53-35 at the same venue to guarantee Ireland’s qualification for the ’99 World Cup.

Ireland 70 Georgia 0 (Scorers: Tries: Ciaran Scally, Paddy Johns, Jonny Bell, Kevin Maggs, Victor Costello, Conor O’Shea, Girvan Dempsey 2, Paul Wallace, Pat Duignan; Cons: Eric Elwood 10)

Ireland XV: Conor O’Shea; Justin Bishop, Pat Duignan, Jonathan Bell, Kevin Maggs; Eric Elwood, Conor McGuinness; Peter Clohessy, Ross Nesdale, Paul Wallace, Paddy Johns (capt), Malcolm O’Kelly, Eric Miller, Andy Ward, Victor Costello.

Replacements used: Allen Clarke, Girvan Dempsey, Ciaran Scally, Jeremy Davidson, Dion O’Cuinneagain, Justin Fitzpatrick. Not used: David Humphreys.