The Ireland World Cup squad are not the only ones preparing for an all important trip to France next month. Reigning AIB League Division One champions Garryowen will be travelling to France to participate in the Languedoc-Roussillon amateur international tournament, which is taking place from September 3-15.
In advance of their trip to France, Garryowen will play host to English club side Waterloo at Dooradoyle next Saturday (August 25, kick-off 2.30pm) so fans in Limerick will get to see the reigning AIB League and Cup champions in action before they depart.
Garryowen qualified to represent Ireland in the tournament following their win over Cork Constitution in the AIB League Division One play-off ginal last May.
Garryowen will be wearing specially commissioned AIB Irish jerseys which will feature their own club crest. All travel and participation costs for the tournament are being covered by the IRFU and AIB.
Garryowen will compete against amateur representative club sides from the Languedoc-Roussillon region itself, Argentina and Romania. A team from the Catalonia region in Spain and Cambridge University will also take part in the tournament. The Languedoc-Roussillon region is one of the heartlands of French rugby and is home to some of the great clubs of both the past and present such as Toulouse, Montpellier, Beziers and Narbonne.
Conor Maguire, Manager of AIB, O’Connell Street, Limerick, said: “I am delighted that Garryowen are travelling to France to represent Irish club rugby in the Languedoc-Roussillon tournament. The club excelled in the AIB Cup and AIB League earlier this year. This tournament is another exciting addition to the amateur club scene and given that it is taking place during the World Cup, I am sure it will be a wonderful occasion for the Garryowen players and backroom team alike.”
IRFU President Der Healy commented: “I warmly congratulate Garryowen on qualifying to represent Ireland as proud champions of the AIB League. They travel with the best wishes of the Irish Rugby Football Union to an event in which our participation is a core element of the excellently conceived AIB-IRFU Community Rugby Programme. The welfare of the game amongst the non-contracted players is a top priority of mine and I know that the renowned Garryowen club will acquit themselves and Irish club rugby admirably.”
Garryowen will play the following matches in France:
September 4: Selection of Languedoc-Roussillon v Garryowen, Limoux, 5.30pm
September 7: Garryowen v Romania, Saint-Chinian, 6pm
September 11: Garryowen v Tucuman, Gard, kick-off TBC
The tournament final will be held on September 14 in the new Yves du Manoir Stadium in Montpellier.