Recently retired Irish International Felix Jones was on hand today (1st February 2016) to announce Electric Ireland’s sponsorship of the Under 20’s Rugby Six Nations Championship Home Games. All three games will be played in Donnybrook, Dublin on the Friday night preceding the Ireland Men’s RBS 6 Nations Home Games. The U20 Home Series provide a unique opportunity to see Ireland’s up and coming talent in action and is an ideal way to introduce the next generation to international rugby.
Felix who earned five caps for the Ireland Under-20 team was a member of the team that won the Grand Slam in the 2007 series which also included Keith Earls, Darren Cave, Ian Keatley, Sean O'Brien and Cian Healy; all of whom have gone on to impress in the senior ranks.
Speaking at the launch he said: “Playing U20 rugby for Ireland was a pivotal moment in my career. Not only was it my first experience representing Ireland but the exposure to Six Nations rugby was a great indication of the expected levels of professional rugby and indeed international rugby. The experience these guys will gain playing international rugby at this level will be critical to their development as future players. We have some really exciting players coming through the ranks and these games provide a real opportunity to witness this first hand. Some of these players will become professionals and some will also become senior internationals”
The former fullback is encouraging rugby supporters to come along to the games: “Having played games here in Donnybrook at many points of my career, I know it can have a fantastic atmosphere. With the games taking place under floodlights, the quality of rugby on display and the immaculate surface, that atmosphere should hold true. Like in any sport, home support is important and like any Irish team or athlete, we should show our support for these young men starting their careers representing their countries. So I encourage everyone to come and enjoy the games.”
Niall Dineen, Head of Commercial at Electric Ireland said: “Electric Ireland has a long tradition of supporting young people in sport and we look forward to working with the IRFU and helping to promote this year’s home series. For rugby fans these matches are the smarter choice to experience the Six Nations atmosphere while supporting the next generation of players.” This sponsorship echoes Electric Ireland’s involvement in the GAA Minor Hurling and Football Championships which also supports emerging young talent.
The announcement was made in the company of U20's players James Ryan, Kelvin Brown, Max Deegan and Cillian Gallagher.Ireland will kick off their campaign against Wales on Friday, February 5th followed by a meeting with Italy on Friday, March 11th and the final game against Scotland on 18th of March.
Details of games
Fri 5th February Ireland U20 v Wales U20 Donnybrook Stadium 19.35hrs
Fri 11th March Ireland U20 v Italy U20 Donnybrook Stadium 19.35hrs
Fri 18th March Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 Donnybrook Stadium 19.35hrs