The Irish Colleges squad embark on their second full fixture of the 2008 season when they play the Scottish Universities at the University of Ulster grounds in Jordanstown this Friday (kick-off 6pm).
The Irish Colleges, sponsored by Treasury Holdings, will no doubt use this occasion to avenge their 22-21 defeat of last year to the Scottish Universities side.
The inaugural fixture between these outfits was back in 2006 at the Edinburgh University grounds, a game that the Irish Colleges won convincingly by 47-0. This, the third meeting, should prove an interesting encounter between two well-prepared sides in the newly established Four Nations tournament.
The Irish Colleges had the perfect start to their current campaign when they defeated the United Kingdom Combined Services Under-23s in London earlier this month by 40-0. The Irish Colleges side will be hoping for a victory this weekend that will prepare them for the most difficult game of the season – against the English Universities side in the championship decider.
The Irish Colleges selection certainly covers a wide span of colleges with representation from all four provinces. The Irish Colleges side is again managed by Moss Dineen, former President of the ICRU and City of Derry Rugby Club. He is assisted by Mike Poole, the current team manager at City of Derry.
Head Coach is Eamonn Molloy of the Connacht Branch, and he is assisted by Chris Galway (University of Ulster, Jordanstown) and Eoin Hogan (IRFU and Development Officer for the Irish Colleges).
The University of Ulster, Jordanstown are hosting the Irish Colleges in this their first Four Nations match in Ulster. The Pro Vice Chancellor Jim Allen has been very much to the fore in getting this fixture for the Jordonstown college.
It is indeed appropriate that this international game is taking place at the university.Their newly opened High Performance Centre should prove an ideal backdrop for this Celtic clash.