The launch and draw for the Men’s and Women’s 3rd level senior rugby cup competitions were held this afternoon at the Aviva stadium.
38 college rugby teams will participate in six cup competitions coordinated by the IRFU and Student Sport Ireland, the governing body for third level sport on the island of Ireland.
Guests of honour at the event were Isa and Edward Johnston, wife and son of the late Mr. Brendan Johnston after whom the Senior Cup Competition is named. Mr. Johnston sadly passed away in the spring of 2022. During his thirty-five years as Sports Officer and lecturer at Dundalk Institute of Technology Mr. Johnston was an advocate for third level sport with a passion for rugby, serving as Hon. Secretary to the Irish Colleges Rugby Union for many years
Players, coaches and representatives of third level colleges attended the launch which was addressed by Mr. Matthew Dossett, Student Sport Ireland President, Mr. Eoin Hogan (Age Grade, Student and Enterprise Manager, IRFU), Mr. Niall Rynne (Chairperson of Management Committee, IRFU) and Mr. Morgan Buckley (Head of Sport, University College Cork)
Mr. Dossett said “On behalf of Student Sport Ireland I delighted to welcome everyone back to the Aviva Stadium after a two-year absence for today’s draws, and it’s fantastic to see 38 teams (20 men’s and 18 women’s) taking part in this year competitions”. We are delighted to work in partnership with the IRFU once again for the seventh year of our rugby cup competitions”. Mr. Dossett thanked Eoin Hogan and Niall Rynne and everyone in the Irish Rugby Football Union for their support and work for 3rd level rugby. “We are looking forward to travelling to University College Cork for this year’s finals day on March 15th” said Mr. Dossett and he added his congratulations to everyone in the host college on their 150th anniversary of the foundation of UCC Rugby Club.
In his address Mr. Rynne complemented both the IRFU and Student Sport Ireland on the continued progression and development of the game at 3rd level and praised the work on the ground within colleges and universities by volunteer coaches and sports staff. Mr. Rynne wished all the teams best of luck in this year’s competitions.
In his address Mr. Hogan acknowledged the passing of two major supporters of sport at 3rd level in the past 12 months, firstly thanking the family of Brendan Johnston for their attendance to the draw, with the top tier Men’s Competition named after Brendan, and the competition is a fitting way to remember him. Mr. Hogan also remembered Brian Mullins in his address and again acknowledged his huge contribution to 3rd level sport on the island.
Head of Sport from University College Cork, Mr. Morgan Buckley, expressed his excitement for U.C.C. to host this year’s final, “We are delighted to hosting this years finals on March 15th, in the Farm and the Mardyke pitches, we look forward to a great competition, and we wish every team the best of luck, and hopefully we will see you in Cork in March” said Mr. Buckley.
The draw for Brendan Johnston Cup, Men’s Tier 2 and Tier 3 cups, Women’s Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 Cups can be found at the links below. Action gets underway on January 25th and will culminate in University College Cork on March 15th.