Bandon Grammar School face tough Rockwell test in Munster Schools Senior Cup

Reigning champions Rockwell have been drawn to meet Bandon Grammar School in the first round of the Munster Schools Senior Cup in January. 

After enjoying considerable success in recent seasons, Bandon have been promoted as an A school but will hardly be overjoyed at coming out of the hat against one of the competition’s traditional power houses and who have captured the title in three of the last six years.

The draw was made in Thomond Park last night by Munster Branch President Bertie Smith and Tony Smith, Chairman of the Munster Schools Branch who revealed that for the first time the opening rounds of the senior and junior cups will involve the same two schools and will be played on the same days and venues on January 19, 20 and 21.

St Clements of Limerick and High School, Clonmel, meet in the finals of the preliminary rounds of the two competitions at Clanwilliam Park, Tipperary, on Wednesday next with the winners going forward to the events proper.

The highlight of the five double headers promises to be the clash of Crescent and CBC at a Limerick venue with a couple of Limerick derbies involving Glenstal and Castletroy and Ardscoil Rís, the beaten senior finalists in each of the last year years. The winners of the St Clements-High School Clonmel will have home advantage against PBC.

Draws for Munster Schools Senior and Junior Cups: Dec 2, preliminary round finals, St Clements v High School Clonmel, Tipperary, Wednesday, December 2.

First rounds proper, January 19, 20, 21, Glenstal v Castletroy; St Clements or High School, Clonmel v PBC; Rockwell v Bandon GS; Crescent v CBC; Ardscoil Rís v St Munchins.

Munster Youths chairman Tom McCoy announced that Bank of Ireland had come on board as sponsors of the Munster Youths U16 and U18 competitions which will be defended this season by Waterpark and Estuary/Newcastle West. The final is scheduled for March 12/13 next.

Meanwhile, bookies’ favourite Joe Launchbury is the perfect man to captain England under Eddie Jones, according to Dai Young.

Wasps boss Young has tipped lock Launchbury as the ideal candidate to replace Chris Robshaw as the build up starts towards World Cup 2019.

New England boss Jones wants his captain to be both assured of his place and young enough to excel at the next World Cup, leaving 24-year-old Launchbury right in the running.

Former Cardiff and Wales captain Young believes Launchbury can emulate Wales talisman Sam Warburton by moving from rookie Test skipper to world leader.

“I see real leadership skills in Joe and you’ve got four years to build it,” said Young of Launchbury, who has been installed as the favourite for the captaincy among bookmakers.

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