All roads lead to Balreask Old on Friday evening, as Leinster Rugby and Ulster Rugby meet in Navan for the second time in the past seven years.

Navan RFC will host the Bank of Ireland Pre-Season Friendly between the two sides. The match is Leinster’s only home game before the BKT United Rugby Championship starts in October and comes as the Meath club are about to enter a very special time in their history.

“Next year is our 100th year. I will be President for half the year, but the next President will be the Centenary President”, Club President Damien Dixon told

“It’s massive for the club. Having Leinster and Ulster here is an honour. It puts Navan RFC on the map. Navan would be a big gaelic games part of Co. Meath. My father Paddy ‘Stonewall’ Dixon played with Meath and won an All-Ireland in 1949, so how I got involved in the club is funny.”

Navan RFC President Damien Dixon, with his sons Jack, Evan and Kyle at a recent Navan RFC match.

Dixon says the game is the perfect opportunity to open the club up to those around the county and further afield.

“There will be people coming to this game that would be involved in the GAA clubs in the town. They have never been to a game, despite living close by. We’re delighted to be welcoming them on Friday.

“The game will help the club, but it’ll help rugby overall. If we get one extra player out of this game, it’ll be worth it. We’re advertising the game locally, and the CCROs are pushing it around the county. We expect people who have never set foot in the club to be there this weekend. That’ll help Navan, Leinster and maybe even Ireland down the line.

“I’ve been inviting people from all around Meath to the game. Plenty would be into their sport, but would have never been to a rugby match. We’re trying to have a community club, and have it open to all. We’re trying to break barriers in the area.”

The two teams are returning to familiar territory, having previously met in Navan in August 2016. Leinster won that game 31-14. The team included the likes of Jack Conan, Ross Byrne, Josh van der Flier and Andrew Porter. The quartet are currently in France with the Ireland team at the Rugby World Cup.

“After the game in 2016, we got a good influx of young players, so our numbers are very big”, Dixon said earlier this week.

“We have 1,000 members, and around 600 children and juveniles in the club. With that, it’s all about facilitating them all to play. It’s a mammoth job to get them all playing.”

After the trials of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dixon says the game on Friday has come at the perfect time.

“Every club took a hit after Covid sadly. We had a tough few years. The Leinster game is a godsend to us. The club lost momentum with Covid. Every club was the same. Friday’s game is massive for us.

“Ticket sales are strong. Currently, it’s about the same as we sold in 2016. There was a massive push before the last game. The interest is there. It’s a great evening for the game, so hopefully the weather holds out.”

You can buy your tickets here. Prices are €10 for adults and €5 for children.