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Club News: Munster Round-Up

Club News: Munster Round-Up

Kinsale Gearing Up For Sevens Extravaganza…Old Crescent Under-11s Take London By Storm…Leprechauns Looking For New Recruits…Quinn’s ‘Six Challenges’ In Kilfeacle…Did You Know?…

KINSALE GEARING UP FOR SEVENS EXTRAVAGANZA: The 2007 Heineken Cup Kinsale Sevens will take place between May 5 and 7 this year, tournament organisers Kinsale RFC have announced.

A total of 96 teams have registered so far, but that figure is expected to rise to the 100 mark before the competition begins.

Once again, it is shaping up to be another great rugby experience at the Heineken Kinsale Sevens – Europe’s largest Sevens rugby tournament.

Making the announcement at the Kiln in Heineken Ireland, tournament director Tomas O’Brien said: “We are delighted to announce that this is gearing up to be the biggest ever Heineken Kinsale Sevens since it began 19 years ago.

“The number of entries to date confirms our position as the premier Sevens rugby event in the Northern Hemisphere. The Irish rugby Sevens summerfest will happen once again in the beautiful town of Kinsale and the economic benefits it brings are very much appreciated by the club and town.”

The Heineken Kinsale Sevens, with its maritime setting above Kinsale Harbour and Oysterhaven Estuary, offers a unique location for the best of running rugby in Veterans, Senior Mens, Senior Womens and Junior Mens categories. The teams will compete in over 200 games for an increased prize fund of €22,000.

Pat Maher, Heineken Ireland’s National Events & Sponsorship manager, commented: “Following the 2006 Sevens, possibly the best ever tournament, we are all working to make 2007 an even better experience for players and visitors alike.

“Kinsale RFC and Heineken are gearing up for a major celebration of seven-a-side rugby. This format of Sevens is gaining stature and recognition in all rugby playing nations for its development of the skills required in the modern game.

“The event is increasingly important to Kinsale and Cork, generating a turnover in the region of €6 million over the May Bank Holiday weekend, with many first time visitors returning again with family and friends, thus bringing added tourism value.”

Team entries director Philip Stokes reported that the Junior and Ladies sections are now full but there is a waiting list in operation. As with other years, there is a strong level of interest from Irish and overseas sides, including the Marauders from the UK, the Suzie Exiles from Amsterdam and Kooga Wailers from Fiji who are returning to defend their title. This team is an international invitation side, sourcing players from English and Welsh Premiership sides as well as from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa Super 14 and NPC sides.

Nearer home, the Women’s teams continue to return to the tournament and this year the Clonakility ladies are looking to make it three in-a-row.

At the launch, Tomas O’Brien thanked all the sponsors supporting the event including title sponsor, Heineken and associate sponsors OB Sport and Chris Kay Ltd. He also thanked members, neighbours and friends for their respective contributions. The charity of choice for the tournament this year will be the Kinsale Trawler Tragedy Fund.

– For further details on the tournament and the teams and players involved, log on to www.kinsalesevens.com

OLD CRESCENT UNDER-11S TAKE LONDON BY STORM: Last weekend saw the Old Crescent RFC Under-11s travel to London take on Wasps Under-11s and attend the Guinness Premiership clash between Wasps and Northampton at Adams Park.

So the Limerick youngsters should have the inside track on how this Sunday’s Heineken Cup semi-final between the two sides will go!

28 players and parents made the trip from the Treaty city, which kicked off with a visit to Windsor and Legoland and rides on the Dragon Ride and Jungle Coaster.

The first night saw Wasps and Ireland scrum half Eoin Reddan, a former Crescent player, drop by at the hotel for some autographs and photographs and a quick question and answer session. The evening was rounded off by a table quiz on a sporting theme, which was won by Mark Rickard, Dylan Griffin and Ciaran Heagney – with a little help from their parents!

Sunday saw the Cresent U-11s participate in the Wasps Community coaching session at RGS High Wycombe. Two games followed against Wasps U-11s – one of which Crescent won by 18 tries to four!

Crescent’s special ‘O’Malley’ post-match warm down, which included the seasonal delights of Cadbury’s, Rowntree and Mars, was enjoyed by both sides.

The Crescent touring party took in the Wasps-Northampton clash that afternoon, and were buoyed by a mention of them in the match programme.

Wasps ran out 35-29 winners and the club’s Irish players – Eoin Reddan, Peter Bracken, Jeremy Staunton and Johnny O’Connor – were on hand afterwards to run the autograph gauntlet.

It was a memorable trip for all the young Crescent players who are back training, as usual, at 9.45am this Sunday morning – no doubt with a few of them wearing their purchases from the Wasps club shop!

LEPRECHAUNS LOOKING FOR NEW RECRUITS: 2007 sees the Limerick Leprechauns club celebrating 20 years of charity fundraising and they are on the look-out for more players to don the club’s famous multi-coloured jersey.

The Leprechauns, made up of a motley crew of former Irish internationals, local players, celebrities and politicians in their 40s, have raised close to €1 million by playing charity matches in the Mid West over the past 20 years.

Their most recent outing was against the UL Bohemians’ 1995 Division Four-winning team in a match to raise money for Bohs club stalwart Willie Doran. Upwards of €10,000 was raised on the day.

Regular players include Keith Wood, Peter Clohessy, Mick Galwey, Brian Spollen, Ginger McLoughlin and Harry Harbison. The club tours the Mid West regiong playing matches and auctioning signed jerseys, balls and other rugby memorabilia for fans.

Anyone, aged 40 or over, who is interested in togging out for the Leprechauns in their future matches should contact Eamon Butler (tel: 087 2846954).

QUINN’S ‘SIX CHALLENGES’ IN KILFEACLE: Sunderland may have a fight on their hands to gain automatic promotion back to the FA Barclays Premiership, but their chairman Niall Quinn had a struggle of his own earlier this week.

Quinn, the Black Cats chairman, was on hand last Monday to partake in the ‘Six Challenges’ to help raise funds for the South Tipperary Hospice and Kilfeacle RFC’s underage tour to London.

In a novel idea, Kilfeacle RFC President Johnny Luby took on Quinn in six challenges – three 21-yard penalties on the Golden GAA pitch, a game of darts in Sir Rowlands, three drop goals at Kilfeacle RFC, three penalty kicks on the local St. Michael’s soccer pitch and then a cycle to Lowry’s bar for a game of 45.

News of the overall winner is scarce. More likely it was ‘a score draw’ but congratulations to both men for taking part!

DID YOU KNOW?: Scrum half Frankie McNamara is one of only two players to have started all 15 of Shannon’s matches in the AIB League this season. The other player being number eight David Quinlan.

Indeed, McNamara has shown an enviable consistency over the past two seasons – he also started all 17 of the Limerick club’s matches in last season’s AIB League campaign.