The Ireland Under-18 Clubs XV management have already started to identify players for the 2008/09 season. This process started back in June when head coach Greg Lynch, assistant coach Jimmy Duffy and manager Willie Gribben attended an Exiles screening camp in London.
An Exiles Under-18 squad then visited Ireland to play two matches against Connacht in Galway and Munster in Cork where players were once again scrutinised by members of the Ireland management.
The next step in the selection process will come when the four provincial squads embark on an Interprovincial series of matches against each other.
Following these matches, a squad of 40 players will be selected to attend a training camp on the weekend of October 31 to November 2.
With five of last year’s squad – Dominic Gallagher (Ulster), Andrew Boyle and David Lynch (both Leinster), Aaron Spring and Mark Dolan (Connacht) – available again for selection for this year, the Irish U-18 management are looking forward to the Interpro series with great interest.
After two excellent years during which the team reached the FIRA-AER European Under-18 final on two occasions, the management team are well aware of the expectations and challenges that lie ahead.
They will strive to go one better when Ireland play in this year’s tournament which will be held in the Cote D’Azure (France) from April 2 to 12 next.