Tyler Bleyendaal And Bundee Aki Two New Faces In Ireland Rugby

The team of Ireland rugby is taking training in Carton House, their training base, and those who will be there to watch the session, will be pleased to see two fresh faces in the gear of Ireland training.

For their sessions, the players were running out in the Kildare grounds, and they will stay here for this entire week, when the Tyler Bleyendaal and Bundee Aki from New Zealand emerged.

Under the three-year residency rule of World Rugby, in the next month, Aki will become eligible to play for the team Ireland. It means that he will play in the international series of Ireland of Rugby, which will take place in the month of November. In the series the team will play against South Africa, Argentina and Fiji.

It is expected that Joe Schmidt will name his squad for the internationals of November in the coming few weeks, and for the Aki’s involvement, this is certainly a positive sign.

Over the few years, speculation and uncertainty were there with regards to the involvement of Aki in the international tournament, as he never spoke about this in any of his interview, he gave in the recent days.
It has been just less than four months in an interview on TV3 with Sinead Kissane, in phenomenal fashion, he beat around that bush.

In the interview when the question was asked about his possibility of playing the international, he said, “If Schmidt calls me up, will certainly say.”

He said, “Any other footballer (professional) wants to play international, however, at the moment, I am here just to play for Connacht and like I said, my first jobs is to play for Connacht.”

He said he has the dream to play international, just like any other players, but only when the time will come.


The past four seasons in Leinster has not been very easy for James Tracy especially with the ferocious competition, yet he has been able to fight through the ranks at the club.

Now he is looking to cement and establish himself in the pecking order of the Ireland Rugby team at Test level.
After making 26 appearances for his province this season, he was rewarded with a first cap off the bench for Ireland as a result of his consistent performance.

His debut match against Canada last November at the Aviva Stadium ended in a 52-21 victory for Ireland.
It’s been a steady climb for the Leinster hooker as he has had two other appearances from the bench for the team after the first. One was in the Six Nations were Ireland faced off against Italy.

The second was last Saturday against Japan were Ireland came off victorious with a 50-22 win.

He is now looking forward to his first test start in Tokyo against the Brave Blossoms in the rematch holding on Saturday.

“I think any competitive person in any environment wants to be playing,” said Tracy.

“If I get the opportunity I’d love it. It would be an honour to pull on the jersey again. Hopefully I do, but if I don’t, we can move on.”

The hooker position is quite competitive and Joe Schmidt has quite an abundance of players to choose from.

There’s Rory Best, who is currently on Duty in New Zealand with the Lions, Dave Heffernan, Niall Scannell, Sean Cronin and Tracy all vying for a starting berth.

The 26 year old will not be taking anything for granted this weekend as he looks to fend off competition for a starting spot from the likes of Heffernan and Scannell.

Ireland Under-19 Team Name For Japan Game

Kieran Campbell the Ireland Under-19 head coach, his assistant coaches Ambrose Conboy and Hugh Hogan have announced the name of the team players who are going to play in Japan U-19s at Donnybrook.

The Ireland U-19 squad is sponsored by PwC, will have players from 20 different schools and clubs, including the likes of James Hume, the winner of RBAI’s Ulster Schools Senior Cup and Leinster Schools of Belvedere Senior Cup-winning side Hugh O’Sullivan, Max Kearney and Michael Lowry.

David McCarthy and Diarmuid Barron have regularly featured in Division 1A for Garryowen of the Ulster Bank League in this season. On the other hand, Jordan Duggan (Naas) and Aaron Hall (Ballynahinch) have performed strongly in the Division 1B.

The player Corinthians’ Sean Masterson, who made his U-20 Ireland debut opposite France last month, is also going to be the part of the event and he will pack down at number 8. He will be seen with Tom O’Toole of Campbell College who captained U-19s Ulster to the IRFU U-19 Interprovincial title at this season, he is selected at tight-head prop.

The Under-19s touring Japan will play four matches in Ireland. This will be the part of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland. All the matches will be played in this month itself.
The youngsters of Japan have lined out against Connacht and Munster already, winning 24-10 and losing 17-7 respectively. They are going to face the Ulster Under-19s this evening at CIYMS RFC.

The UNDER-19 teams of Ireland are
Conor Wharton of Leeds Beckett, University, Mark Keane of Instonians, James Hume of RBAI, David McCarthy of Garryowen, Peter Sullivan of St. Andrew’s College, Michael Lowry of RBAI, Hugh O’Sullivan of Belvedere College. The list of replacement students is also announced by the coaches on the occasion.


The world governing body for Rugby has said that it is too early to speculate on any potential rule changes.

The statement by the body came on the heels of the controversial tactics employed by Italy in their game against England.

The Azzurri, who ended up in a 36-15 defeat by the English side at the Twickenham on Sunday, refused to engage in rucks.

After the match, Eddie Jones was quick to criticize the playing style and tactics employed by their Italian counterparts, noting that such ploys should be closely looked into by the law-makers.

Speaking to the BBC, a spokesperson for World Rugby said that the body could try to ‘clarify’ the law, instead of drastically making changes to it.

Italy’s plan which was masterminded by Brendan Venter, Italy’s defence coach left no offside line after a tackle had taken place.

As such, the half-backs of the Azzurri then crowded an unsettled England backline.

At half time, England were 10-5 down. However, they were quick to recover in the second half of the game, thus securing a bonus point win.

Conor O’Shea, Italy’s head coach gave credit to Brendan for his wonderful tactics.

He also went on to reveal how their plan had almost scampered before the day ended. According to him, Romain Poite, the referee for the game told the coaching team of the Italian side that during the week, some changes had been made to the laws.

According to him, the original idea involved directly targeting England’s scrum-half Danny Care once they had successfully rejected the idea of a ruck. However, Poite let them know that they could no longer legally challenge the scrum-half. He made mention of how an offside in their game against the Ireland Rugby team was later clarified as being onside.


This November has seen Ireland gain a lot of success which have seen a lot of interest being generated towards the Six Nations scheduled to hold next year.

For the Ireland Rugby Team who are coming off fresh from wins in games played against New Zealand and Australia, they would be playing only two games in Dublin during the 2017 Six Nations championship.

Already, tickers are on ground for the games and rarely go on sale, as they are first offered to schools and local rugby clubs before the remainders are sold via IRFU supporters’ club.

However, the tickets are already appearing online on a number of tickets selling sites such as Viagogo and Stubhub where scores of them are listed for as much as between £395 and £3,000 for one ticket.

The first clashes which would be played against France and England successively, will hold at the Aviva stadium and these online ticket sites are estimating that they would have finished selling these tickets before the year comes to an end.

Would-be attendees of the games are also being warned that prices of the tickets have been rising in the last three days and will only continue to rise further.

Last time where Ireland hosted France in Dublin, a warning had to be issued by the IRFU asking the public to avoid purchasing any tickets from unofficial sellers.
This came on the heels of the loss of 144 tickets in transit, which were unaccounted for.

In the past, they have also warned that tickets can be traced and actions would be taken against clubs, if it is found out that they deliberately flooded the black market with tickets supposed to be for their members.

On the 2nd of February next year, Ireland will be playing their first Six Nations clash at Murrayfield against Scotland.

GET Solutions Wins Slot On Ireland Team’s Jersey

GET Solutions, the leading energy consultancy company in Ireland, has earned a sponsorship deal with the Irish national rugby team.

The company’s name will feature on the shirt of the international Irish rugby team. GET Solutions will be having their company’s name back on the Ireland team jersey for four international fixtures that the team will be playing very soon. This also includes a couple of world cup qualifying games.

GET Solutions is pretty happy to have the struck the deal of being a main sponsor of the Irish team jersey. There was a tough competition among many companies to feature on the Ireland rugby league team’s jersey and GET Solution piped the rest to win the sponsor’s deal.
GET Solutions, located in Cellbridge, Co Kildare, will be joining the team’s main sponsor and leading pub group McGettigan’s on the team jersey. Their name will be featured in the Irish team jersey when they take on Malta on October 8th and Jamaica on October 16th at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray.

The name of GET Solutions will also be showcased on the Ireland team jersey when the team plays Spain on October 22 in Valencia and Russia on October 29th in Bray for the World Cup qualifiers. That’s not all. GET Solutions will also be the guests for the Rugby League Ireland for the three matches that is played at home in Bray and will be gifted with a matching jersey with the company’s name on it.

Charlie Grendon, the MD of GET Solutions, said that the company is pretty much thrilled and honored to have won a shirt sponsorship deal with the Irish Rugby League team. They are happy to be associated with one of the most popular sports in Ireland today. The company is looking forward to see their logo on Ireland team’s jersey shortly.

Schmidt Contract To Expire

Joe Schmidt is the head coach for IRFU; he has to take a crucial decision as to whether he will extend the four year contract that exists with the team at present. He has certain family commitments that he needs to consider that would affect his decision as to whether he will continue or end the contract.

Joe Schmidt has an important role to play as the head coach for the Irish rugby team. He is deferring a decision for his future with the regional team. Some are optimistic about his extending contract period while others are unsure about his decision.

The current contract that he holds with the Irish team would finish by this season. He informed IRFU that he might take on a new contract with them, which would continue till the 2019 World Cup is held in Japan. You can click here to follow Ireland’s progress as they aim to qualify got the World Cup. Alternately, if not, his association will change the region end this year.

There are certain family related decisions that would affect his final decision that is being stretched for some more time, though the contract has technically expired by the end of August. IRFU has made an open end offer to him, which allows him to continue even if the season has ended. This would be his fourth stint with Ireland team.

Steve Tew is the chief executive of the NZRU, has considerable admiration for Schmidt. He has contacted him and might want Schmidt to come back to New Zealand. There are rumors of Schmidt tying up with the Highlanders, but he has denied that such a link has been established. Both men were together in a tour to South Africa.

Schmidt states that he has not made any commitment with any other team like the Highlanders through Roger Clark. He stresses on the fact that he has not signed on any agreement with any other team till now.

Sweetnam Stars In Munster’s Win

The pre-season friendly match played in August looked as if it was held in late November because of the heavy winds and rain.

The gusty weather conditions did not upset the rhythm and performance of the Munster team as they won their game 17-0 against Zebre in Waterford. This was the first win for Rassie Erasmus after being appointed as Munster’s director of Rugby.

Munster had to play against the wind in the opening half and it was the out half Ian Keatley adapting to the conditions pretty quickly and showed his game experience. He came up with well timed grubber kicks that allowed Muster to enjoy two tries. The first of the tries was through eventual man-of-the-match Darren Sweetnam.

Sweetnam was the star of the day as he put in a lot of work on the rugby field to end up with a brace of scores.

This performance puts him in good strides for the forthcoming season. Keatley was instrumental in the opening try as he made a first kick that found lively center Colm O’Shea. Keatley’s second kick that was a bit deep into the opposition 22 was pounced by Sweetnam after Zeber’s winger Giovanbattista Venditti missing it and it finally ended up with a touchdown for Sweetnam.

There was pressure from the Zebre team, but with solid defense Munster were able to keep them quiet for the first half that ended at 5-0. Munster looked very solid and firm in their defense as well as their set piece game. They really played well to come out with a superb win. Munster players played the perfect game and did not allow the well-built Italians in the Zebre side to score or move freely. Keeping them scoreless through the entire game is a very good effort from the Munster’s defense.

Ireland Rugby Team Well Positioned Against South Africa

The second test that is coming up would have a rugby team of Ireland playing. They would be playing for South Africa.

There have been five changes that is definitely a first. Quinn Roux is a South African born player who would be making a debut for the Irish team. There have been considerable changes after the historic victory the team had in Cape Town. Tadgh Furlong as well as Rhys Ruddock could be part of the pack as well. Ruddock is also set to play the role of an open side flank player. Ian Henderson would be playing on the blind side. He would be substituting CJ Stander who has been suspended for the time being.

Ireland is set to take on South Africa at the Johannesburg venue this weekend. Among the several changes that have come about in the Ireland team Quinn Roux is one of the changes made. Though he is an uncapped player, he brings in great potential for the team. In the second test that is coming up this weekend Joe Schmidt has made several changes in the selections for his squad.

The five changes that have been made and seven changes in totality include several uncapped players being added to the team. These are players like Craig Gilroy, Stuart Olding, Quinn Roux, Tadh Furlong and Rhys Ruddock. The latter would be starting on the open side. He has been playing for Springboks in November 2014. These players are coming in for players who are unwell like Chris Henry or Ian Henderson who has switched to the blind side from the lock. There might be more players coming off the bench to play in the forthcoming game. It remains to be seen how well the new players sync with the old. It would definitely be an interesting match to watch.

Herring and Trimble are Ulster Captains

Rob Herring and Andrew Trimble will be sharing the captaincy of the Ulster province for the forthcoming season. Ireland skipper Rory Best has stepped down from the role of the captain of Ulster and both Herring and Trimble have been chosen as the captains this season.

Herring, the hooker, was a deputy to Best on plenty of occasions last season and has a bit of experience in captaining the Ulster team. Trimble is the most capped player in the squad and this explains why he has been chosen by the Ulster management to lead the team this season.

The Ulster Director of Rugby, Les Kiss, said that both these players have gained the love and respect of everyone in the organization. The appointment of these two players as the captains of the squad will offer more flexibility and continuity for the team. He said that he was excited that the two players have said ‘yes’ to captaining Ulster. As it is very difficult to confirm that one player will be available for the team all the time during the season, Kiss though that the two captains idea is a better option for the team.

Herring joined the Ulster team in 2012 and Trimble has made a total of 206 appearances for Ulster so far. He made his debut for Ulster against Cardiff province in 2005. Herring after his appointment said that he is really excited to share the captaincy of Ulster province with a person like Andrew.

He is sure that with the mutual support of other leading players in the team and Andrew, the squad can make huge progress in the 2016/17 season.

Trimble was also very excited with the new captaincy post of his home province and acknowledged that it was the proudest moment of his rugby career.