Venues during the tournament include Musgrave Park, Cork Institute of Technology, Temple Hill and the Mardyke and the teams will be based locally in areas such as Ballincollig and Crosshaven as well as in the city itself.
The launch of the festival was attended by a host of well known guests including Cork Lord Mayor Cllr Donal Counihan, IRFU President Der Healy, Naval Captain James Robsinson, Noel Murphy representing the Six Nations committee and John Bowen from the Bowen Group who sponsor the festival.
Captains and managers from every squad taking part were also present.
The IRFU was chosen as this year's hosts for the U18 Six Nations Festival shortly following last year's inaugural and successful event in Glasgow. Planning has been ongoing ever since under the stewardship of Tournament Director Diarmuid Kelly and Tournament Manager Olly Hodges and it is hoped that large crowds will turn out and support the games which will feature some tough games between top teams at this level.
IRFU President Der Healy extended a warm welcome to all of the teams to his home city.
"It's an honour for me to be here welcoming the teams to Cork. Whatever happens over the course of this festival my main hope is that the players taking part in the festival continue their rugby careers at whatever level is right for them in the years ahead and that they take home happy memories of their time here this week."
Tournament Director Diarmuid Kelly said he was delighted to welcome each team to Cork and was certain that some stars of the future would be on show over the coming week.
"This age group is the first step on the ladder to senior international rugby. From among these players will come the stars of the future and it doesn't take long before they reach that level. Think of Irish and international players who have come through age grade rugby and shone at senior level in a very short time. Players such as our own Ronan O'Gara, Donnacha O'Callaghan, Denis Leamy, Brian O'Driscoll and Danny Cipriani of England, as yet only 20 years of age, readily come to mind."
With admission to all games free of charge he encouraged local rugby fans to come and support the teams during the week.
"In the words of the Six Nations Age Grade Committee Chairman, Malcolm Gillies - this festival is about developing age grade rugby in a competitive environment, but is also about ensuring all involved enjoy and gain from the experience, forming new friendships on the way, and leave having experienced the fellowship of rugby."
The first games take place this Wednesday when England play Italy at Temple Hill, France play Scotland at CIT and Ireland kick of their fixtures against Wales at Musgrave Park.
U18 Squads for the Six Nations Festival.
Squad: David Tarroque, Baptiste Gay, Adrien Alazard, Teddy Iribaren, (all Toulouse), Anthony Maury (Montferrand), Mickael Ivaldi, Sonny Falconetti (both Toulon). Kevin Legeun, Adrein Gach, Amaury Geneste (all Begles). Paul Oliver (Beziers), Victor Muret, Julien Petrod (both Bourgoin), Sullivan Guyon (Orleans), Joris Archimbeau (Montpellier), Florent Brunet, Gilles Arnaudies, Joran Salgues (all Perpignan), Antoine Erbano (Agen), Julien Cabannes (Mont de Marsan), Clement Baldy (La Reunion), Raphael Eymond, Lucas DuPoint (Grenoble), Adrien Domec (Biarritz), Camille Canivet (La Rochelle), Valentin Tourenne (Brive).
Squad: Jamie Loxton, Rys Downes (both Blues), Adam Hughes, Ieuan Coombes, (both Dragons), Liam Powell, Ashley Beck, Kristian Phillips, Ben John, Matthhew Jarvis (all Ospreys). Chris Lewis Pratt (Exiles), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Daniel Watchurst, Stewart Maguire, Tom Crandon, James Thomas, Morgan Allan, Dave Francis, Rys Williams (captain) (all Dragons), Gareth Jenkins, Ceri Davies, Lloyd Peers, Ben Howe (all Ospreys), Rys Williams (Blues), James King, Joel Galley, James Davies (all Scarlets)
Squad: Nicky Little (Hawick), Craig Owenson (Musselburgh), Andrew Fraser (York), Luke Pettie (Gala Wanderers), Mungo Strachan (Fettes College), Alun Walker (Musselburgh), Robert Harley (West of Scotland), Grant Gilchrist (Stirling County), Michael Maltman (Musselburgh), Michael Fedo (Bell Baxter / Howe of Fife), Stuart McInally (George Watsons College), Ross Sutherland (Sandbach) Jason Hill (Stirling County) Alex Black (Prince Henrys School), Russell Weir (Merchiston Castle School), Alex Blair (Edinburgh Academy), Ross Aitken (Bell Baxter / Howe of Fife), Sam Hughes (Merchiston Castle School), Alec Dunbar (Annan), Michael Tait (Kelso Quins), Max Learmonth (Berwick), Jamie Harris (Merchiston Castle School), Rory Drummond (Bell Baxter / Howe of Fife), Seamus McKenzie (Murrayfield Wanderers), Tom Brown (Edinburgh Academy).
Squad: Joe Barker (Leeds Carnegie), David Blackwell (Gloucester), James Currie (Bath), James Gaskell (Sale Sharks), Jamie George (Saracens), Alex Gray (Newcastle Falcons), Tom Holmes (Sale Sharks), Lee Imiolek (Sale Sharks), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Rob Milligan (Northampton Saints), Jacob Rowan (Leeds Carnegie), Joe Trayfoot (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Bristol Rugby), Freddie Burns (Bath), Tom Casson (Sale Sharks), Tom Catterick (Newcastle Falcons), Rory Clegg (Newcastle Falcons), Andrew Forsyth (Leicester Tigers), Sam Harrison (Leicester Tigers), Tom Homer (London Irish). Will Hurrell (Leicester Tigers), Jordi Pasqualin (Gloucester), Sam Smith (Harlequins), Christian Wade (LondonWasps), Jack Wallace (London Wasps), Joe Quinn (Leeds Carnegie)
Squad: Michael Allen, Niall Annett (both Methodist College), Marl Atkinson (Grosvenor G.S), Richard Bent, Ray Crotty (St Mary's College), Jason Bloomfield (Coleraine Academical Institution), Denis Buckley (Blackrock College), Patrick Butler (Rockwell College), Risteard Byrne (Terenure College), Brian Cagney, David O'Driscoll, Brian O'Hara (PBC Cork), Diarmaid McCarthy (Castletroy College), Brian Hayes (CBC Cork), Michael Kelleher (St Munchins College), Ben Marshall (St Andrews College), Luke Marshall (Ballymena Academy), James McKinney (Campbell College), David McSharry (Templeogue College), Martin Moore (Castleknock College), David O'Callaghan (Midleton College), Luke O'Connell (Clongowes Wood College), Paul Pritchard (Ballymena Academy), Noel Reid (St Michaels College), Dominic Ryan (Gonzaga College), Gavin Nugent (PBC).
Squad: Edoardo Carugi, Tommaso Benvenuti, Antonio Denti (all Viadana), Nicole Corbanese, Tommaso Benvenuti (Bennetton Treviso), Zamparo Matteo (Amatori San Dona), Enrico Lioineri (Ruggers Tarvisum), Andrea Manici, Michele Mortali (Gran Parma), Filippo Cazzola (Montebelluna), Daniele Fratalochhi (Sambendettese), Paolo Stinchello, Gabriele Cicchinelli, Giovanbattista Venditti (both SSD Unione Capitolina),Tomaso , Enrico Michelini (both Modena), Fillppo Ferrarini (Noceto FC), Lorenza Santelli (ASD Universita Cosenza), Alberto Chillon, Marco Barbini, Alberto Bennettin, Costantino Ricciardi (all Petrarca), Edoardo Gori, Francesco Lenzi (Cavalieri), Giovanno Frapporti (Valpolicella), Sebastian Rodwell (Firenze), Alberto Zorzi
Date Time Venue
Wed 26th Mar 08 17:00 England v Italy Temple Hill, Cork
Wed 26th Mar 08 17:00 France v Scotland CIT
Wed 26th Mar 08 19:30 Ireland v Wales Musgrave Park, Cork
Sat 29th Mar 08 14:30 England v France CIT
Sat 29th Mar 08 14:30 Ireland v Scotland Musgrave Park, Cork
Sat 29th Mar 08 14:30 Italy v Wales Mardyke, Cork
Tue 1st Apr 08 14:30 Ireland v Italy Mardyke, Cork
Tue 1st Apr 08 14:30 Scotland v England Musgrave Park, Cork
Tue 1st Apr 08 14:30 Wales v France Temple Hill, Cork
All information on fixtures, results, teams and other news from the festival will be available on www.Irishrugby.ie/u18festival <https://www.webmail.irfu.ie/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.Irishrugby.ie/u18festival>
For further information:
Media Liaison Officer
T: +44 7516797560