Heralded as the rugby competition with participants from more countries than any other (apart from the Six Nations, World Cup, Heineken Cup and the Amber Gambler Trophy) it’s the annual build up to the start of the annual Magner’s League start.
The wise money is on a photo-shoot with all the captains of the respective teams and the cup/plate/whatever the hell it is, I couldn’t pick it out of a line up at one of those shops that sells trophies, mends shows and polishes keys. Well most of the captains at least. Some won’t be arsed to travel so they’ll send a vice-captain. Some may even send an ex-player (or as they call them in Llanelli, a member of the coaching set up). If I were the captain of Benetton Treviso, (who, if my Italian hasn’t failed me is called Piazza Trentin) I wouldn’t travel half the way across Europe to have my photo taken in the sodding rain in Dublin.
There may even be some pretty girls in the photos. Not literally girls, I mean in the sexist sense of fully grown women. Although it is taking place in Dublin so that’s unlikely.
This year’s competition marks a first in that the league now has more members not less as is usually the case like when we lost the South Edinburgh Reivers and the Rhondda Cynon Taffs.