Mary's line up Lions legends for special preview luncheon
On Friday, May 19 (1.0), St Mary's College RFC will hold a special Lions Preview Lunch at which Joe Schmidt and Ronan O'Gara will be guest speakers.
It is hoped the Templeville Road club's ten previous Lions will also be in attendance, stretching from Sean Lynch in 1971 to Jack McGrath and Jonathan Sexton (pictured) now.
Former Ireland No 8 Victor Costello will perform the role of MC at the luncheon at the Ballsbridge Hotel (Old Jury's) and which organiser-in-chief 'D' O'Brien describes as "the lunch to beat all lunches".
For further information contact either Marie Hammond (club administrator) on 01-4900440/ 087 662 9354 or Patrick Crawford (acting hon secretary) on 087 919 9999). There are a limited number of places still available.
In last week's column, I incorrectly attributed Italy's place in Band 3 for the upcoming World Cup draw entirely to the Azzurri being a tier one nation despite being ranked 15 by World Rugby.
Media manager at World Rugby House James Fitzgerald (a former underage protege of mine at St Andrew's, I might add) informs me that the Italians slot into Band 3 automatically on the basis of how they finished at the 2015 World Cup - in third place behind Ireland and France in Pool D.
Although Fiji, Samoa and Tonga are ranked above Italy they must go through the qualification process for Japan 2019.
Oh, and Fitzgerald ain't a half bad referee either!