Everyone in Ireland is talking about Ulster Rugby, everyone in the rugby world is talking about Ulster Rugby. With a devastating and massively powerful display against Northampton Saints in the Heineken Cup on Saturday past, a side who are renowned for their physical play and scrum dominance. Ulster Rugby took them apart in what one Northampton commentator called an embarrassing night for English rugby! To put it in the most direct terms - this is without a shadow of a doubt the greatest Ulster Rugby team in the history of the province! Now, lets reflect on the fact that Leinster another of the 4 Irish provinces are the current Heineken cup holders, a competition that sees all the best teams in Europe compete, then the mind simply boggles on the connotations of say an All Ireland European Cup Final (same as last year) between Ulster & Leinster, but this time, not in Twickenham the famous English stadium but in Ireland's International stadium The Aviva, in Dublin!
This is the stuff of legends, it would simply be the biggest period of Irish Rugby dominance in the history of European Rugby.
The club scene in Ireland is a buzz of rugby fanaticism. The sport is going through an unprecedented growth spurt fuelled by the recession and a rediscovery certainly in Ulster of identity and the deep psychological resources, knowledge, gene pool and sheer love of the sport of rugby.
Its probably the very same feeling that has seen the phenomenal rise of American football in the states. Full contact sport only really comparable to a boxing match or any physical fighting sport.
On the club scene Ulster again have been leading the way in recent years with somewhere in the region of 12 promotions in 3 years within the Ulster Bank League which pits the best clubs in Ireland against each other in a home and away fixture format. In each of the league 2A, 2B, and 1B Ulster teams lead, and now more than ever the Ulster club Ballynahinch are absolutely focused on winning promotion to the highest league in Ireland which is 1A.
Each week these games are perhaps only eclipsed by the junior scene as it represents a bigger playing population and an All Ireland Cup which is just about to reach the Semi Final stage and of the 4 teams competing 3 of them are from Ulster! Combining this with the purely provincial Junior scene which is adult rugby provincially, the 52 clubs have been competing now since the start of the season in at least 15 cup and leaguecompetitions and now as we approach the midway stage the contenders for league and cup success and those who will be contenders for relegation are beginning to show through.
In these next few weeks the momentum towards the final ultimate glories for teams provincially and on an all island basis will begin to reach the very early stages of what will undoubtedly be the most exciting final 6 months of any season in the history of rugby on this island.
We have not mentioned the schools scene yet!
There is so much happening and we aim in this blog to give you as much as we can to give you the very basics and if you want to get a full appreciation of the scene then please like our local rugby facebook page for InTouch Rugby the rugby news site for Irish & Ulster Rugby with 150 stories a week covering Ireland, Ulster, Women's, Club, Schools rugby with results, match report, TV interviews and more CLICK HERE
to visit www.facebook.com/INTOUCHRUGBY?fref=ts
The facebook page is ultimately used to communicate the stories on our website CLICK HERE
to visit www.intouchrugby.com