Jump to main content


Leinster’s Shield Win To Support Important Work Of Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust

Leinster’s Shield Win To Support Important Work Of Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust

Leinster players Tommy O'Brien, Ross Byrne, and Thomas Clarkson are pictured with Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust founder Colin Bell, and trustee Kevin Heaney, and Alan Mooney and Bebhinn Dunne of the Official Leinster Supporters Club ©SPORTSFILE/Harry Murphy

The 2023/24 BKT United Rugby Championship #ShieldsForGood winners have officially been confirmed following the conclusion of the regular season.

The four regional Shield trophies carry greater reward this season with the league offering up support for the winners’ chosen charities and foundations.

The URC will share its platforms and a number of promotional rights with the chosen charity partners of each Shield winner from this season and into the future.

Irish Shield Winners – LEINSTER RUGBY

The Irish Shield has been retained by Leinster, who finished the regular season with a 33-7 bonus point victory over provincial rivals Connacht at the RDS. It is the third year in a row that Leinster have won the Irish Shield.

Their chosen charity is the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, a registered charity that was established in 2013 with the aim of alleviating the financial hardship of bereaved families repatriating the body or bodies of loved one(s) back to Ireland, who have died abroad in sudden or tragic circumstances.

The charity was named after Kevin Bell, a young man who died suddenly in New York in 2013.

After an outpouring of help and goodwill from family, friends, and indeed strangers, his family decided to use the funds to help other families similarly affected by the sudden loss of a loved one abroad.

Irish Shield Final Standings –

Leinster 20 points/4 wins/2 defeats/4 bonus points
Ulster 18 points/4 wins/2 defeats/2 bonus points
Munster 13 points/2 wins/4 defeats/5 bonus points
Connacht 10 points/2 wins/4 defeats/2 bonus points

Italian X Scottish Shield Winners – GLASGOW WARRIORS

The Italian X Scottish shield has been won by Glasgow Warriors, who finished the regular season with victory over Zebre Parma. Like Leinster, their place in the play-offs was already secured.

The Warriors’ chosen charity is Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, who have been the official charity partner of the Scottish club since 2018. Over £75,000 has been raised since the partnership’s inception.

Players and staff frequently work together on charitable activations across the city, including an annual visit to the hospital each Christmas.

The club also hosts its annual ‘Plaster It Purple’ fixture, where supporters are encouraged to wear purple to Scotstoun Stadium for a dedicated match night, with the team wearing purple socks and dedicated warm-up T-shirts.

This year, the club’s ‘Fighting for Our Families’ campaign has seen the Warriors raise almost £50,000 for the charity across a range of activities, including Glasgow Warriors staff running the Great Scottish Run 10k, clubs including Ardrossan Accies, Cambuslang Juniors, University of Strathclyde Women’s RFC, GHA, and GHK hosting their own ‘Plaster It Purple’ events, and club sponsors, including Hilton Glasgow, Macron, and McCrea Financial Services, donating across the course of the season.

South African Shield Winners – VODACOM BULLS

The South African Shield has been won by the Vodacom Bulls following their 26-14 derby win over the Hollywoodbets Sharks in round 18.

Their chosen charity is the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa, the only non-profit organisation offering holistic support for childhood cancer and life-threatening blood disorders in the country.

The Vodacom Bulls have embraced CHOC’s mission to support children and teenagers diagnosed with cancer or life-threatening blood disorders, as well as their families.

Whether it is through financial donations, raising awareness about childhood cancer, or bringing happiness to children and teenagers through visits from Bulls players or Bulletjie, the Bulls have become a crucial partner in their efforts.

Welsh Shield Winners – OSPREYS

The Welsh Shield has been won by the Ospreys, who finished the season by beating Cardiff 33-29 in a Judgement Day thriller, securing their place in the play-offs in the process.

Their chosen charity is Ospreys in the Community (OitC), who are a charitable foundation working in close partnership with the club.

OitC share a strong relationship and form a key part of the Ospreys’ strategy, while operating independently to the professional rugby organisation.

Their aim is to create a vibrant and sustainable foundation that encourages and supports people of all ages and abilities to make positive life choices. ​They have been in operation for nine years, run over 125 programmes, and impacted over 65,000 lives last year alone.

OitC work to improve lives by working with others to create a range of programmes that sit within the Ospreys’ three core pillars, with inclusivity being the golden thread that connects their programmes – health & wellbeing, education & employability, and sport & physical activity.

They aim to engage with over 50,000 people each year providing sustainable and enjoyable programmes throughout the Ospreys region, making a positive and ​lasting difference to people’s lives.

Martin Anayi, the United Rugby Championship CEO, commented: “Local rivalries have always brought about a fight for bragging rights, and it’s very fulfilling for us to attach tangible rewards for organisations and causes that seek to better the communities of our teams.

“Everyone across our league uses their responsibilities as role models to make a positive impact – now through ‘Shields for Good’ their actions on the pitch will have even more resonance off it.

“I’d like to congratulate each winner, and wish them every success in the play-offs.”