The victories of 1938 and ’39 and 1950 and ’51 are of little relevance as the Tipperary school begin their defence against St Colman’s College in Group C in Clonmel today, however, and manager Niall Cahill is certainly not looking that far ahead.
“We’ve a lot of changes from last year’s team,” he says. “There are only about three or four starters left and then maybe the same from the rest of players who got game-time last year.
“It’s a very different-looking team and the first game back is always a bit tricky, lads would have been involved with the two Tipp teams and the local championship is still on.
“We’re only focused on getting out of the group for now. Since they brought in that format, we’ve always qualified and that’s always the aim at the start. We’ll do our best and then take it from there.”
All of today’s ties begin at 1.30pm. In the other game in Group C, Nenagh CBS face Doon’s Scoil Na Tríonóide Naofa in Newport.
Last year’s beaten finalist St Francis College, Rochestown get their campaign underway with a Cork derby against Gaelcholáiste Mhuire in Mayfield in Group B. Charleville CBS meet Our Lady’s Secondary School from Templemore in Claughaun in that section too.
Ardscoil Rís clash with Bandon’s Hamilton High for the fourth time in three years in Mallow in Group A, with a Waterford derby in Fraher Field between De La Salle and Blackwater.
In Group D in Clashmore, there is a Harty debut for Cork’s Christian Brothers College, a storied rugby school, against CBS High School Clonmel.That group got underway yesterday, with Castletroy College beating St Flannan’s College1-18 to 1-8 in Sixmilebridge.
Colum Carroll’s goal set Castletroy on the way as they led 1-5 to 0-1 in the first-half and, while Flannan’s responded, seven unanswered points at the start of the second-half had them 1-13 to 1-4 in front. Aaron Kennedy finished with eight points for the Limerick school.