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UCD and Trinity renew rivalry in university challenge

UCD and Trinity renew their famous rivalry tonight at Donnybrook (KO: 6.30) in the 60th edition of the famous colours clash.

This fixture has seen Ireland stars like Jamie Heaslip (Trinity), Brian O'Driscoll, Rob Kearney, Seán O'Brien, Fergus McFadden and Kevin McLaughlin (all UCD) earn their colours over the past number of years, and the next generation of future stars will face off at Donnybrook.

The Belfield boys will be out for revenge after Trinity ruined their perfect season last weekend with a final day win, denying their rivals top spot in Division 2 in the process.

This fixture, which dates back to December 1952, when it was kicked off at Lansdowne Road, has seen UCD win 34 times, Trinity 21 and there have been four draws.

UCD have won the majority of the recent clashes between the teams and new director of rugby Bobby Byrne will be hopeful of getting his era off to a winning start having taken over from John McClean.

Now in Division 1B, UCD have made a solid start to their campaign since promotion and last weekend's hard-fought draw in Ballymena leaves them seventh in the standings.

Trinity are chasing promotion from Division Two after a strong start to the season and they lie in third, just two points off the promotion places. Last year, UCD celebrated their centenary year and had a phenomenal season by any standards, going on tour to South Africa, winning the Leinster Senior Cup and going undefeated in Division 2 - all they had to do was beat mid-table Trinity to win the All-Ireland League Division 2 undefeated.

They had already gained promotion several weeks previously, but the underdog Trinity played a near perfect game going blow for blow with UCD in a fantastic advertisement for university rugby, with both teams keeping ball in hand and running from everywhere on the field. In the second half, Trinity managed to get ahead and controlled the ball brilliantly to win out 28-20 in a huge upset.

So this year's game is extremely hard to call, particularly as both teams are in different divisions. UCD are mid-table in League Division IB, and Trinity are in third place in Division 2, only one point behind the leaders.

Form always goes out the window for this clash, with history, bragging rights and pride at stake in the ultimate university challenge.

Over 35? Dust off your kit and tackle a charity game

Calling all 'mature' rugby players!

Time to dust off the boots and prepare for another season of Vets (over 35's) rugby, where the more experienced rugby players in Leinster compete for the 'Kielys of Donnybrook' Cup, kindly donated by Pat Cremin.

The 2011/2012 Leinster Vets League starts shortly and is open to all clubs in Leinster for players aged 35 or over. Over the last four seasons, we have raised thousands of euro for Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin, and we hope to continue that great charity work this season, as well as playing fun, competitive rugby.

Please note that a meeting to discuss this season's league shall be held in Kielys of Donnybrook on Monday, at 8pm.

If a club representative cannot attend the meeting, please contact Joe Osborne of Bective Rangers FC on 086-3894106, or by email at joewosborne@o2.ie

Future stars primed for success by Blues' coaches

Almost 100 U15 players attended a training session with Leinster community coaches at Cill Dara RFC. The event was organised by John Bagnall, (CDO) who invited clubs to send players to the training day.

This was the first session of this type run in Leinster and, judging by its success, it will not be the last. These sessions not only provide a platform for young players but also an opportunity for coaches to identify and develop future Leinster players. The players demonstrated some great skill, reflecting the good work being done in the clubs involved, which included Portarlington, Portlaoise, Athy, Cill Dara, Newbridge, Naas and North Kildare.

Leinster CRO's Jennie Bagnall, Maurice Logue and Stephen Gore were present on the day, with Stephen giving demonstrations. Also present were CCROs Joe Carberry, James Hyland, Shean O'Grady, Eamonn Hyland, Sarah Duigan, Ben Swindlehurst, Donal Droney and Niall McCann.

Pick up a programme and meet some true Warriors

Remember to pick up an official match programme on Sunday for the latest news, views and interviews from around the province ahead of the opening home Heineken Cup game in the RDS.

In this week's match programme we speak to Fergus McFadden and Kevin McLaughlin about the visit of Glasgow Warriors. We also hear from Leinster scrum coach Greg Feek, while there's lots more to keep you entertained.

We reflect on the launch of Rhapsody In Blue, while in the Community section we hear from women's development officer Jennie Bagnall about the progressions being made in the women's game.

There's news from the OLSC and Leinster Rugby Referees as well as a host of other features. All for just €5.


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