22 May, 10:29
Munster Rugby recently attended Rockwell College to host a skills session for their Junior Cup players.
"Getting the opportunity to represent your country at any level is a great achievement and we take it very seriously, all of the players! We try to have a bit of fun at training like all squads, but we work hard, and it's a great honour and something we are all proud of."
"There are a lot of good players in the All Ireland League that may not get the recognition necessarily and in one way you are representing them as well so there is that pressure also. It is quite prestigious alright and we are looking forward to it."
As the AIL clubs battle it out during the season, any differences are cast aside for the Club International weeks. "Club rivalries are good for the banter, whether talking about promotion and relegation prospects and we all know each other pretty well from playing against each other all season. There’s even good rivalry on the pitch in a club game and afterwards it’s just forgotten about and you get on with things."
"There is a good spread from across the country and as a competition, the AIL, is a hotly contested one with no easy game so it’s quite right that there is good representation from the different clubs."
This is the first time a Club International will take place outside of Dublin and it is a huge honour for the Cork club to be selected as the venue for the first game.
"I think it’s a good thing to move it around the country. It’s here because the clubhouse is being officially opened and they’ve done some great work here and the new clubhouse is fantastic. They have put in a big effort getting the place ready, making sure everything is as good as it can be for the match and in fairness to the committee they should be proud of what they have here."
"And then as players we have to make sure that we do our upmost to beat England and we are hopeful there will be a good crowd here tomorrow night. It is on us to try and play a good brand of football and put on some entertainment, still not losing sight that we have to win."
"We’ll be hoping the crowd will get behind us and make it as lively as possible!"
Munster connections in the Ireland Club Squad
Frank Cogan: Clontarf RFC. From Bishopstown he captained the Irish Club side in the past and was captain of Cork Constitution for three seasons. Represented Munster U21’s and Ireland U19’s.
Sam Cronin: Clontarf RFC. Originally from Mallow and has captained the Club side in the past. Played his club rugby with UCC and Dolphin and now plays his rugby in Dublin.
Kevin Griffin: Shannon RFC. From Kilfeacle, has represented Munster A and Ireland U19’s.
Gerry Hurley: Cork Constitution FC. Captain of the Irish Club side and Cork Constitution captain in 2012/13. A former member of the Munster Rugby Academy, he has represented Munster in the B&I Cup and has also represented Ireland U21’s.
Barry Keeshan: Dolphin RFC. Ireland U19/U21's, Munster A/21's/Schools and has represented the Irish Club side more than any other player.
Ed Kelly: UL Bohemians RFC. Captain of his club side UL Bohs and has been involved with Munster’s Development Squad and the Munster As.
Neville Melbourne: Young Munster RFC. Previously represented Munster U21’s and has represented Munster in the B&I Cup.
Richie Mullane: Shannon RFC. Munster Sub Academy player and part of the Munster 7’s squad. Also played B&I Cup rugby this year for Munster.
Pa O’Regan: Old Belvedere RFC. From Tralee he represented Munster U20/U19/Youths and was a member of the Munster Rugby Academy and previously played his club rugby with Tralee RFC and UL Bohs.
Willie Ryan: UCC RFC. A late call up to the side during the week, the backrow is a brother of current Munster player John Ryan.
Ger Slattery: Young Munster RFC. The Limerick hooker played against La Rochelle with Munster in the pre season of 2012, and featured in the Development team outing against Russian side Enisei STM at Easter. Captained Young Munster to an ODM Munster Senior Cup title in 2010.
Information for Supporters
Ulster Bank Club International: Ireland Club XV v England Counties, Temple Hill, Friday Feb. 8th ko 7.30pm.
Gates open at 6pm. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket booth outside the grounds. There will be stewards to assist patrons on the night , and to ensure that the event runs smoothly and safely, please respect their requests.
There will be no car parking in Temple Hill on the night. We request that match patrons respect our neighbours by not parking on the double yellow lines outside local housing estates.