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Welsh and Scots to play in St Jo's event

PUBLISHED: 12:31 08 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:30 03 March 2010

RUGBY UNION: The St Joseph's College national schools rugby festival during the autumn half term 2002 will have a new look this year. For the first time top Welsh and Scottish sides will be invited to make it an unofficial national championship in its 16th season.

The St Joseph's College national schools rugby festival during the autumn half term 2002 will have a new look this year.

For the first time top Welsh and Scottish sides will be invited to make it an unofficial national championship in its 16th season.

The involvement of Blackrock College, Dublin for the past two years has brought a new dimension to the weekend.

And Tony Talbot, tournament director and head of rugby at the college, said: "It is a national festival now. It will become an unofficial national championship.

"At times it has been dominated by the West Country. We will invite teams from Scotland and Wales as well as Ireland and also teams from the regions, the top teams from the North, Midlands and South.

"The winners and runners-up of the Daily Mail U18 schools cup will also be invited; Campion and Oakham this year.

"The quality of the rugby is bound to be high, it always is, and we are trying to get an even better atmosphere. It is all very exciting."

A large number of boys who have featured in the festival have gone on to international success. Nick Dunscombe, player of the tournament two years ago, has made his debut for England.

And the latest England under 18 squads included Colston's players who were here last year as well as St Joseph's own players, hooker Iyran Clunis and second row forward James Dunne.

The compact nature of the St Joseph's site at Birkfield, Ipswich is likely to limit the total number of teams involved to 16 for the forseeable future.

Increasing the number of teams to 20 would bring extra games and put more pressure on the players with five games in the first day, he said, so it was unlikely to happen.

The festival had the sponsorship of BTexact Technologies again this year and was well supported by sponsors.


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