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IRFU fail to promote stars of tomorrow

Clearly it was a restful period for those at the IRFU charged with responsibility for the promotion and advancement of the underage game.

In case you missed it, Ireland played England at U-19/20 development level at Anglesea Road, followed by the U-18 schools meeting of the same countries at Donnybrook. England took the official international 29-12 in front of a pitiful crowd -- at a time when most rugby buffs were suffering from cabin fever and just yearning for an excuse to get out. But hey, who needs game promotion in these vibrant economic times?

Add to that a €5 charge for those (mainly relations) who did go, and throw in the fact that there was no match programme, no tannoy announcement, no anthems and (for the Irish replacements) no tracksuits.

By comparison, the English were dressed to the nines. For our talented stars of tomorrow, it sent some message.

PS -- Spotted in the crowd watching from different vantage points were Leinster coach Joe Schmidt and captain Leo Cullen. Success doesn't come by chance.

Irish Independent