LIMERICK’S famed collection of test rugby players is set to receive a few new additions after a number of locals were picked to represent Ireland against Great Britain in a special tag rugby series.
Six Limerick-based players are among 42 men and women who will represent their county next Friday, July 12 in a three-test international series that will raise the curtain on this year’s famous Pig n’ Porter tag rugby festival at Old Crescent rugby club in Rosbrien.
The Tag Test Series will see men’s, women’s and mixed teams take on Great Britain in a special contest, with the overall winner claiming the inaugural British and Irish Cup. The event will open this year’s Pig n’ Porter, which will see 120 teams compete in one of the largest tag rugby events in the world. Over 3,000 people are expected to attend the festival, which runs from July 12 to 13 and is sponsored by Heinz Tomato Ketchup and Failte Ireland, as part of The Gathering.
Limerick man Gerard O’Shea, who has been named as vice-captain of a Team Ireland men’s side that also includes locals Emmett Dalton and Brendan Walsh, said that he is excited to get the chance to play for his country.
“It’s an honour to be representing Ireland in this Tag Rugby international against Great Britain. Limerick has a rich rugby tradition and it’s great that we get to host such an historic occasion. Getting to represent your country is the ultimate honour. To do so only up the road from my home in front of friends and family will make it even more special for me. We’ll do our utmost to deliver a home victory”.
As well as the international tag series, this year’s Pig n’ Porter will also see another new departure in the shape of Gaelic Tag: a competition that combines the format of tag rugby with the rules of Gaelic football, which will take place at Mungret-St Paul’s GAA club on Saturday, July 13.
As well as the main tag rugby competition on Saturday, the festival will also include a number of entertaining events for the whole family – from a barbecue and bouncy castles during the day to pig racing, live music and a disco in a 9,000 foot marquee on Saturday night.
Billy Breen, Pig n’ Porter spokesman, said that the Tag Test Series will be an exciting way to kick-off this year’s festival.
“We’re very excited to be hosting such a unique contest at this year’s Pig n’ Porter. There’s no better way to start off the weekend than with an exhibition featuring some of the best tag rugby players in Ireland and Great Britain.
“The players who have been picked to pull on the green jersey were selected after painstaking scouting of tag venues in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Kildare. The men and women who made the cut are very proud to be representing their country”.
A handful of places in the tag competition are still available for registration. For more information on this year’s event, log on to www.pignporter.com or www.tagrugby.ie.