Every year UCD Rugby Club sets out to raise vital funds for the Irish Cancer Society with Daffodil Day. Due to COVID-19, the Daffodil Day campaign was held entirely online but the response was as positive as ever with the Club raising almost €10,000. Organised in conjunction with the second-year students of the BSc Sport & Exercise Management programme, the event was led by Amy Bermingham from the Centre for Sport Studies.
John Hammond, who first instigated the UCD Rugby Club Daffodil Day over six years ago and who retired as Club Administrator last summer, received a special award as the first-ever Irish Cancer Society Daffodil Day Community Champion from Conor King, Acting CEO of the Irish Cancer Society.
UCD Ad Astra athlete and Economics student Andrew Porter was selected for the Lions Tour in South Africa. Unfortunately, Porter picked up an injury in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup game against Glasgow Warriors, thus ruling him out. Fellow Leinster and Irish teammate, UCD alumnus Robbie Henshaw was also selected for Warren Gatland’s Lions.
Meanwhile, High Performance Analyst and UCD alumnus Vinny Hammond was also named in Gatland’s backroom team for the Lions Tour. A central part of the Ireland set-up under Schmidt and now Farrell, he toured with the Lions for a second time.
UCD Medicine student and Ad Astra Elite Scholar Béibhinn Parsons’ brilliant breakthrough season in 2019-2020 was recognised when she picked up the coveted Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Women’s Player of The Year award. The Ballinasloe winger’s emergence in Test rugby during 2019- 2020 was capped by three tries in the 2020 Women’s Six Nations.
Parsons was joined by a former UCD student on the honours list, as Leinster and Ireland centre Garry Ringrose was named Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Men’s Player of The Year. Ringrose was one of the brightest sparks during Ireland’s Rugby World Cup journey in Japan and brought his form home with him as Leinster went unbeaten in the 2019-2020 Guinness PRO14 and Ringrose was named the Irish and Leinster Players’ Player of the Year.
UCD were delighted to see a strong college representation as the U20 Six Nations Championship went ahead at the end of June. UCD’s Chris Cosgrave, Tim Corkery, Josh O’Connor, Jack Boyle, Ronan Loughnane and Mark Morrissey were all selected to represent Ireland. The team defeated Scotland, Wales, France and Italy, but lost to England.
The Olympics is not something we often include when discussing UCD Rugby Club, however, Anthony Eddy’s Rugby Sevens side created history on a magical evening for Irish rugby at the Stade Louis II with victory over France in the final of the World Rugby Sevens Repechage, as they secured 12th and final place in the Olympics Sevens competition in Tokyo. The 7’s team Olympic debut was however a disappointing one and with losses to South Africa and USA their points difference wasn’t enough to see them through the group stages where they eventually lost to Kenya in the 9th/10th place playoff.