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Donal Walsh Final Preview | UCC v Shannon

8th March 2024 By The Editor

The UCC U20s in action against Garryowen.

The UCC U20s in action against Garryowen.

UCC and Shannon face off in the Donal Walsh U20 Trophy final this Sunday afternoon at Tralee RFC with a 3pm kick-off.

The premier competition in Munster for U20 teams, it is a repeat of the 2023 final with Shannon the current holders thanks to a 21-14 win over UCC in Tralee last year.

Ahead of the eagerly-anticipated clash, we heard from UCC U20s Head Coach Conor Twomey and Shannon RFC Team Manager Mark Kennedy.

UCC man Twomey said: “Since beating Con last week in a tough semi-final there has been a great buzz amongst the lads with everyone looking forward to getting an opportunity at playing Shannon in Tralee.

“It’s a deserved reward for the work they’ve put in to date. Having had a few great tussles with Shannon over the past few years at U20s, and not having come out on top, we know to expect a tough encounter against a well-trained team and quality players right across the pitch.

“The club has a strong tradition competing in this competition and it would mean a lot to this group of players. They are a very dedicated group who train extremely hard while balancing their study commitments . We also have a few lads who played in last year’s final against Shannon and experienced disappointment at this stage previously.”

Shannon Team Manager Kennedy said: “Players and coaches alike are looking forward to another Donal Walsh final, our third in three years.

“These days are an integral part of the Shannon player pathway, our main aim is to  develop our young players and give them the best possible foundation for adult rugby. It’s great to be involved in such a prestigious competition at the business end of season and it promises to be a great day for all in Tralee.

“UCC will represent a stern physical and mental test for our young players. Over the last number of seasons UCC have provided a good honest test that has enabled our players to develop as rugby players and young men.

“Retaining the Donal Walsh trophy is one of our main competition goals for this season. It will be a milestone for our players and coaches in their rugby careers and will fortify them for the battles to come in the future. It’s a great occasion in Tralee and we hope to bring the trophy back to Limerick again.”

A view of the action from last year's Donal Walsh action.

A view of the action from last year’s Donal Walsh action.

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