Jump to main content


Queen’s Mark Anniversary With Dudley Cup Challenge

Queen’s Mark Anniversary With Dudley Cup Challenge

Queen’s University RFC are celebrating their 150th anniversary, honouring a proud history that has contributed a huge amount to Irish Rugby. They will mark the event when they challenge UCD for the prestigious Dudley Cup at Dub Lane tonight (kick-off 7pm).

University rugby has a proud record of producing Ireland internationals and Queen’s University can hold their heads high in this regard. Jackie Kyle, one of the finest out-halves to have played the game, winger Cecil Pedlow, flanker Bill McKay, scrum half Roger Young and centre Noel Henderson were all Queen’s graduates who played with distinction for Ireland and the Lions.

Then there was war hero Paddy Mayne, the teak-tough second row who played for Queen’s, Ireland and the Lions before helping to set up the SAS during a remarkable, and highly decorated, army career in World War II.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Two of Ireland’s most prominent players of the 1980s, centre David Irwin and openside Nigel Carr, were testament to the quality of the Queen’s rugby development programme, while the national team has benefited from the university’s production line also in the form of out-half David Humphreys, second row Gary Longwell and current squad member Iain Henderson.

Professional rugby has changed the landscape, with players gaining their caps out of the provincial sides but Queen’s, who are currently coached by Derek Suffern, still harbour strong ambitions in the All-Ireland League.

With UCD, Dublin University and UCC all now operating in the top tier of Irish club rugby in Division 1A, Queen’s are determined to join them. They have made a decent start to their Division 2A campaign, sitting in the promotion mix in fourth place with three wins from six.

UCD, who received the Dudley Cup following last month’s 39-28 first round victory over UCC at Belfield, will start favourites tonight. However, Queen’s are driven by the motivation of claiming such a notable scalp and the honour of winning this special trophy.

The Dudley Cup is now played off on a challenge basis, similar to New Zealand’s famous Ranfurly Shield, and Queen’s have a proud history in the competition. They were the inaugural winners of the Dudley Cup in 1903/04 and held the trophy between 1906 and 1909 and again from 1920 to 1924.

They have not held the Dudley Cup since 1993/94 (when Humphreys and Longwell were in their pomp playing for Queen’s and Ulster) and bridging that gap is a major spur for this assignment against UCD.

An intriguing backdrop then to what should be a highly entertaining contest showcasing the attacking style of Irish university rugby. Queen’s are up against it but what better way to represent their landmark anniversary than by claiming the Dudley Cup by beating the competition’s most dominant force? A huge night beckons.