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University Sides Ready For Dudley Cup Contests

University Sides Ready For Dudley Cup Contests

This Saturday afternoon will see teams from University College Dublin, University College Cork and Queen’s University Belfast compete for the Irish Universities Rugby Union’s Dudley Cup title.

The Dudley Cup, named after Lord Dudley, was initially played for in the 1903/04 season, however during the past decade participation of the University sides in the AIB League has overshadowed the Dudley Cup.

Indeed, the Dudley Cup has not been competed for on a regular basis over the past few years.

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The Irish Universities have agreed to play the competition this year and it will be played out at the Belfield Bowl in a league basis with each University playing against each other.

Irish University rugby has rarely been as strong over the past few years.

All are welcome to attend at Belfield for what promises to be an exciting afternoon’s rugby. The first match kicks off at 12 noon.

Since its inception, over a hundred years ago, many household names in Irish rugby have played in the Dudley Cup.

In the 1920s and 1930s, for example, Andy Courtney, Eugene O’D. Davy and Larry McMahon represented UCD and also played for Ireland.

During the same period UCC supplied JJ O’Connor and Jack Russell to the national team, while George Stephenson represented Queens, to name but a few.

In more recent times, one can include the names of Paddy Johns, Hugo MacNeill, Brendan Mullin, John Robbie, Jamie Heaslip (all Trinity), Moss Finn and Donal Lenihan (both UCC), John Cantrell, Denis Hickie, Gabriel Fulcher, Brian O’Driscoll, Rob Kearney, Derek McGrath, Darragh O’Mahony and Paddy Wallace (all UCD) and David Humphreys, David Irwin, Gary Longwell and Trevor Ringland (all Queen’s).

Many other names could be mentioned, in addition to those who have played provincial rugby while at university or those who received international caps subsequent to their playing days at college.

In terms of the Dudley Cup roll of honour, UCC lead the way with 20 wins, with UCD (15 titles), Queen’s (11), Trinity College (4) and University College Galway (2) trailing them.