Competitive local rugby was back last weekend with the first round of The Colm O’Shea Cup. The new competition was announced by Leinster Rugby a few weeks ago and pits teams from around the province against each other, in a hope to kick start the game at local level.
The newly formed cup will be joined by the Metropolitan Cup with both competitions culminating with a double header final day on Saturday, 11th of September. Lansdowne FC will be hosting the finals.
From a local perspective it was not the best of weekends, as both Tullow and Kilkenny lost & Carlow’s encounter with Ashbourne not going ahead with concerns in the club over travelling to Dublin.
Speaking to Scorelines “Knock On” rugby podcast James Blanchfield was glad to play the game and hopes Kilkenny can fit in a few friendlies before the league starts;
“Hopefully come league time the rust will be fully knocked off, we are ready to get going and pick up where we left off last year. We had the ideal start last year, beating Ashbourne at home, in one of the best games of rugby I have ever seen in Foulkstown. It was disappointing that the plug was pulled at the end of the season. We just hope we can bring that momentum back right at the start of the Leinster League soon enough”
You can listen to the full chat with James, Tom Crotty from Carlow Rugby Club and Johnny Tobin from Tullow below where they discuss the return of club rugby, pre-season training, the Colm O’Shea Cup, players coming and going and more.