LIMERICK’s Pig n’ Porter tag rugby festival had such an impact on visiting Australian Perry Haddock, who introduced the sport Down Under, that Limerick could be in line to host the World Cup of Tag Rugby in 2015.
The Australian was sufficiently impressed by the levels of organisation involved in the event, held in Old Crescent last weekend, that he made a commitment to bring over 200 of his countrymen for next year’s top tag fest.
This will include four international teams for the fledgling international tag test series, held for the first time on Friday night ahead of the larger tag event on Saturday last.
“Perry flew over for this year’s event to see what the fuss was all about and was blown away by the level of organisation from an amateur volunteer group of people, and made that commitment to us next year, which is fantastic,” explained Billy Breen, spokesperson.
It is understood that Limerick could well be in line to host the tag World Cup when it is next staged in 2015, which would mean thousands of international players descending on the region.
This year, the 12th staging of the Pig n’ Porter, drew 120 teams, the largest number in its history, and the overall numbers were also among the biggest yet seen in Old Crescent. “This was definitely the best one we have had yet; at peak we had 3,500 people on site on Saturday, and over 5,000 through the gate during the day,” explained Billy. “It went incredibly well and was a huge success, we are absolutely delighted and the weather really made it for us.”
The event was graced by visits from returning Lions’ heroes Conor Murray, Simon Zebo and Rob Kearney and this year featured a number of firsts for the long-running event, including pig racing and the inaugural international tag test series between Ireland and Great Britain, competing for a British and Irish Cup.
The Irish team emerged victorious, watched by a crowd of 1,000 people, while the overall Pig n’ Porter event on Saturday was won by London-based team The Chargers, made up mostly of tag crazy Australians.
Organisers sought to thank the many sponsors involved and the committee members who gave up their time voluntarily to run the event.