Ireland’s opening Guinness Series test match against Canada in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday saw three Navy Blue clients handed their debuts. Garry Ringrose started the game at outside centre and put in a very solid performance with some great line breaks, as well as putting Tiernan O’Halloran in for a try. John Ryan came off the bench on 47 minutes for his first international cap and was part of a dominant scrum for the remainder of the game. Hooker James Tracy also came on as a replacement with 20 minutes remaining, and managed to squeeze over from close range for a debut try in the dying moments of the game! Ireland beat Canada 52-21.
Darren Sweetnam scored a fantastic solo try for Munster Rugby in their historic 27-14 victory against New Zealand Maoris on Friday night. Darren hacked a loose ball forward and showed great pace to regather it over the whitewash. Two more Navy Blue clients combined for another try, as scrumhalf Duncan Williams sent a box kick through which Ronan O’Mahony collected and finished off to score. Andrew Conway played another full 80 minutes at fullback as the third part of an all-Navy Blue back three, and combined well with his wingers on several occasions. Conor Oliver and Darren O’Shea got a full game each too, at flanker and second row, while Peter McCabe came off the bench as a replacement early in the first half.
Mark Flanagan started in the second row again for Saracens this weekend as they overcame Newcastle 29-18 in the Anglo-Welsh Cup. The sides were level at half time but Sarries did well to pull away for a bonus-point victory.
James Coughlan started at no.8 for Pau as they overcame French and European heavyweights, Racing Metro 26-17 at home. Pau dominated the game so they deserved the victory, and will be happy to get back to winning ways.
The draw for the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 took place in Belfast last week, with Navy Blue’s Fiona Coghlan lending a hand drawing teams out of the pot. Ireland Women were drawn into a tough pool that contains France and Australia. The WRWC takes place in Dublin and Belfast next August.