Former Leinster, Ireland and Lions hooker Shane Byrne was at Blackrock College RFC earlier this week to support the launch of the 2013 ‘Castle Trophy’ tournament…

The Under-20 rugby event will feature eight of Ireland’s top club teams and will take place on Saturday, 21st September 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.

There will be a number other events taking place at Stradbrook over the course of the weekend including the Eric O’Connor Cup – an Under-11/12 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.

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