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Pollock And Cave Relive Their Grand Slam Glory

Pollock And Cave Relive Their Grand Slam Glory

Two of Ireland’s Under-20 Grand Slam-winning heroes, David Pollock and Darren Cave, recently talked to Ulster Rugby TV about their success with the U-20s this season. See below for their thoughts on their five championship wins.

DAVID POLLOCK (captain and flanker/number eight):


“We played France Under-21s, they were last year’s world champions. This game was obviously a massive game for us.

“It was played down in Athlone at Dubarry Park. It was a great place for us to have our internationals. The sort of size of the stadium, it just brought the crowd into it and we felt really at home, there was a great atmosphere in the ground.

“We just sort of stole the game with the last kick of the game. 19-16 was a great result. It was a stepping stone as it really set us up for the next games.”


“We played Scotland in Falkirk. It’s a football ground but with rugby played on it too. It was a great surface to play on.

“We would have been Triple Crown champions after that match, so I think there was a wee bit of pressure going into it, in a sense.

“We started slowly and in the first half we didn’t really get into the game.

“For the second half, there were a few stern words from Eric (Elwood) and that got us going. We took it on board and had a superb second half and took the win.”


“Obviously I was honoured and privileged to captain this Irish Under-20 side to the Grand Slam. But really, my role wasn’t too difficult. Putting a team like this together, there were a lot of leaders within it so being captain was pretty straightforward.”

DARREN CAVE (outside centre):


“It all started off in Wales at the Liberty Stadium where the Ospreys play. Obviously it was the most fantastic stadium I’ve ever played at. We arrived and they really fancied themselves as favourites.

“The papers were talking about how they were going to have a Grand Slam decider against England at Rodney Parade on March 16.

“They really fancied themselves, and as it turned out we ended up beating them 17-15. It was a great start and obviously we were delighted with it.”


“Obviously that’s a big one. When you first see the fixtures, you look to see when you play England. Obviously when you’re an Irish player, beating England is always going to be a highlight.

“It was a pretty wet, windy night down in Athlone. We basically just stopped them from playing. We put in a really good performance and it was fantastic to beat England, 13-6 it was.”


“That’s obviously the highlight of the Six Nations for us. That was a great experience.

“We came out, we were obviously very nervous. There was a lot of talk about the Grand Slam.

Phil Orr, whose our manager, and Eric Elwood, the coach, have countless Irish caps between them and neither of them have ever had a Grand Slam, so they kept stressing how important it was that we didn’t let this opportunity pass us by.

“We started incredibly slowly again. We were down for about 45-50 minutes, the whole way, but then we scored a couple of tries and came back into it.

“As the Italians are a year older, they were very, very strong, particularly up front.

“But it was very sunny and that suited our game. In the second half we started playing some nice rugby and got a few breakaway tries and ended up winning quite comfortably in the end – 36-25.”

To see the full interviews on Ulster Rugby TV click here.