DUNDALK Rugby Club played host to a team from New York last week as part of 'The Gathering 2013' initiative.
The ladies and men's team from Molloy College, Long Island, were invited to visit the area in the run up to St. Patrick's Day, through their links with Dundalk Institute of Technology.
After playing against DkIT's own rugby team mid week, where the American visitors triumphed, they went up against the Dundalk 3rds at Mill Road.
'The College were here to visit DkIT and following a successful outing against the local college midweek they took the opportunity to have training run outs against our Dundalk 3rd XV in the case of the men's team and against our near neighbours from Newry RFC in the case of their ladies team,' explained Louise Andrews, Dundalk Rugby Club PRO.
'The club was bedecked with flags and bunting as we tried our best to add to the 'Gathering' effort for this year.
Tommy and Benny had traditional music going in the lounge to welcome our visitors.
The pitches were in excellent condition and all were looking forward to the sessions.'
Molloy College players were even treated to the club's younger players rehearsing the All Blacks tradidtional Haka for their part in the St. Patrick's Day parade!
'The visitors were very impressed and took many photos of the rehearsals,' added Louise.
'The Haka was exceptionally well received by the crowds at the parade and congratulations are due to all the players, their parents, their coaches and most of all to their teacher Ene.'
She added that Molloy College initially formed links with DkIT through the Nursing School.
Drew Bogner, President Molloy College visited Denis Cummins, President DkIT and they discovered that they had multiple overlapping academic areas and there were possibilities for both colleges to work together for the benefit of their students.
'They used the 'Gathering' initiative to bring about the visit by the Molloy College rugby teams to Dundalk.
Coach Ene Fa'atau said Dundalk RFC were delighted to be able to make a positive contribution to the visit by facilitating the sessions in the club.
He added that the US visitors were treated to a night of entertainment at the Mill Road venue later that evening before returning home.
'We are also hoping that a further exchange visit could happen between Dundalk and the US college, where our team could travel over to Long Island for a similar event,' said Ene.