Former Ireland and Lions’ hooker Shane Byrne was at Blackrock College RFC today to support the launch of the 2013 ‘Friends First Castle Trophy’ tournament. The under-20 rugby event will feature eight of Ireland’s top club teams and will take place on Saturday 21stSeptember at Stradbrook in Blackrock.
Speaking at the launch, Shane Byrne said, “I am delighted to be back at Blackrock College RFC to lend my support to this year’s Friends First Castle Trophy. The future of Irish rugby depends on events like this that give young players the opportunity to compete at a high-level and showcase their skills. The success of last year’s event set the standard, but I am confident that we can emulate it this year.”
After a 46 year hiatus, the tournament returned last year to mark Blackrock’s 50th anniversary at their home ground. It has now become an annual event in the rugby calendar. The trophy will be contested by last year’s winners Old Belvedere, Lansdowne, UCD, Trinity, UCC, Old Wesley, Garryowen and hosts Blackrock College RFC.
Brian O’Neill, Strategic Marketing Director at Friends First Group spoke proudly of their decision to support the event, “Friends First is delighted to continue our sponsorship of the Castle Trophy tournament. Together with Blackrock College RFC, we expect it to become the pre-eminent Under 21 tournament in Ireland, setting new standards in rugby excellence. We look forward to seeing some of these players compete at the top level of Irish Rugby in coming years.”
There will be a number other events taking place at Stradbrook over the course of the weekend including the Eric O’Connor Cup – an U11/12 rugby blitz in memory of Eric O’Connor, an enthusiastic member of the Blackrock Under 11′s Minis Team, who sadly passed away last year.
For further information on the Friends First Castle Trophy visitwww.blackrockcollegerfc.ie