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Euro blitz a smash hit

AS both the Heineken and Amlin Challenge Cup finals loomed on the horizon it was left to the young rugby stars of the future to grab the spotlight during the week's build-up to both games.

The European Challenge was the only thing on the minds of the 300 primary school boys and girls that took part in a festival of tag rugby in Irishtown Stadium on Wednesday morning.

As part of the ERC Dublin 2013 Legacy Project, 24 teams gathered in Irishtown from across Dublin City areas such as Darndale, Ballymun, Finglas, Donnycarney, Ringsend, Crumlin and The Coombe to participate in the blitz. This was the culmination of tag rugby programmes that had been running with primary schools citywide facilitated by designated Leinster Rugby community rugby officers, the IRFU and Dublin City Council – kindly funded by the ERC.

Prior to the day, each team that was taking part was allocated a European rugby team and for the event were placed in four-team pools which mirrored a very famous ERC tournament.

The morning kicked into gear with a parade of all the teams around the pitches, which was followed by their dispersal to their own pitch to meet their opponents for the morning. Over the course of the next two and a half hours plenty of fun was had by all and the level of skill shown by everyone was immense.

As the event drew to a close Garrett Tubridy and Max Rantz-McDonald of the ERC, Eoin Hogan of the IRFU and Leinster Rugby were on hand to give out specially commissioned Dublin 2013 medals and T-shirts as well as some surprise goodies to everyone that took part.