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Setanta Cup Challenge

14th August 2008 By Munster Rugby

Setanta Cup Challenge

USA Rugby will host its second annual Setanta Challenge Cup, featuring the USA Eagles versus the 2008 Heineken Cup champions, Munster, at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., on Saturday week, August 23 at 3 p.m. (EDT).

These two squads faced each other last year in Chicago with Munster winning a hard fought match 10-6. And speaking of the re-match U.S. Men’s National Team Coach Scott Johnson said. ?We are extremely excited to be playing Munster in Hartford.

“There’s no doubt that this will be an extremely physical match and I encourage Irish and U.S. fans alike to come watch what promises to be some very good rugby. Not only does this match allow us essential competition against a high level opponent, but we get to play in a great city where I have no doubt the community will come out and support both teams.?

 This year’s cup will also showcase the improvements being made to a young U.S. National Team following the Barclays Churchill Cup and ASM Clermont matches under the tutelage of new Head Coach Johnson.  The Eagles played ASM Clermont Auvergne at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C. with the French side, who were in Munster’s Heineken Cup Pool last season, winning 37-14, in front of a 4,000+ crowd last Saturday.

“We are of course looking forward to this match. Last year’s trip proved very beneficial both in terms of the match itself and the subsequent season. While it’s a great honour to play against international oposition this game also represents the ideal type of preparation ahead of the new season and we are certainly looking forward to our trip to Boston.” said Munster Head Coach Tony McGahan.

Munster will spend the week prior to the match in Boston, training at the Irish Cultural Center, while the Eagles will spend the week in New York, training at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Along with several additional activities surrounding this event (detailed below), on Thursday, August 21, both team’s coach and captains will meet at Rentschler Field for the Setanta Challenge Cup press conference at 3 p.m.

Munster bring a full strength squad with the exceptions of Denis Leamy, David Wallace, James Coughlan and Ciaran O’Boyle but McGahan remained non-commital about the compostion of his match day side.

Munster Squad: Buckley Tony; Carney Brian; Dowling Ian; Earls Keith; Flannery Jerry; Fogarty, Denis;  Holland Billy; Horgan Anthony; Hurley Denis; Hurley Darragh; Hayes John; Horan Marcus; Howlett Doug; Lewis Kieran; Mafi Lifeimi; Manning Jeremy; Melbourne Mark; Murphy Barry;  O’Callaghan Donncha; O’Connell Paul; O’Donnell Tommy; O’Driscoll Mick; O’Gara Ronan; O’Leary Tomas; O’Sullivan John; Pucciariello Federico; Prendergast Mike; Quinlan Alan; Ronan Niall, Ryan Donncha; Sheahan Frank; Stringer Peter; Tipoki Rua; Warwick Paul.

Rentschler Field is Connecticut’s sports & entertainment stadium. In addition to being the new home of the University of Connecticut Huskies football team, Rentschler Field’s 40,000-seat stadium is the perfect setting for college football, concerts, conferences, banquets and special events. This is the third time that USA Rugby has hosted a major international rugby match at Rentshler Field, hosting France in 2004 and Wales in 2005.

The Setanta Challenge Cup match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic as well as on Setanta Sports. Tickets for this event are priced from $20 to $60 and will be available through www.ticketmaster.com/munster or by calling (860) 525-4500.

For more information on USA Rugby’s upcoming events and/or the Men’s National Team, please visit http://www.usarugby.org/. For media interested in attending the event, please contact sjohn@usarugby.org. For more information on USA Rugby, please visit http://www.usarugby.org/. For more information on the Munster Team, please visit https://www.munsterrugby.ie/.


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