This weekend sees the start of the week long Student Four Nations Competition, this year being held in Pontypridd, Wales.
This will be the 17th instalment of the Student Rugby League Four Nations tournament, and it kicks off with Ireland V.S England on Sunday 9th July. The last tournament was held in 2019 when England won their 13th title. The only other side to win this competition is Wales and being on home soil, will be looking to win their 4th title, and first since 2012.
Ireland will be looking to stamp their mark on the tournament this year and push for the honours themselves. With a new head coach at the helm in Glenn Holt, he and his backroom staff have been hard at work with the squad of players to bring a strong Irish spirit to this year’s tournament. Having taken on the role in late May of this year, it’s been a whirlwind couple of months for the man in the hot seat. But with the help and tutorage of rugby league Ireland Senior Men’s Head Coach Ged Corcoran, he will feel more than battle ready for what’s to come. Holt said:
“It’s been a challenging but equally enjoyable couple of months since taking up the position. We’ve had some good preparation for this tournament and all the squad have trained well and committed 100% into what we’re trying to achieve. We feel confident going into this tournament, but we are going in with our eyes wide open to the challenges ahead. We know there won’t be any easy games but, with the squad we have put together for this, there is absolutely no reason we can’t challenge for the title.
With only 6 weeks pre-tournament in post, Holt has had to move quick to get a competitive side together, that will see Paul Bolger lead the side into his 3rd Students competition, having featured in the 2018 and 2019 competitions. On the tournament Bolger said “Overall, I’m really happy with the preparations over the past couple of months. In previous years it’s been very last minute with no real preparations, but this year we’ve had regular training camps alongside the Ireland A team and getting top quality coaching from our Coaching staff. The lads have really got to know each other over these camps which in previous years has been our downfall, I’m confident we already have a tight-knit group of players before we even step foot in to camp”.
Both Ireland and Scotland are yet to pick up the Four Nations Title after 16 outings but Bolger is full of confidence leading the team into this tournament “For me we want to show that we deserve the respect of the other nations and to remove the perception that we’re there just to make up numbers. We have some great quality in the team this year and every player is incredibly proud to be Irish and represent our friends, family and country. I’m sure you’ll see that in our performances. The backroom staff have done an incredible job in making this tournament as professional as possible, and have raised the standards providing us the same access to equipment and tools as the Senior team does. We have to reward the faith and trust in us with the performances on the field, and I have no doubt we will do that. If we come with the right belief and energy, I don’t think anything is impossible for us”.
Ireland begin their tournament against England on Sunday 9th July with kick off at 1:30pm. Their next game will be against the host’s Wales on Wednesday 12th July at 7pm before their final game against Scotland on Saturday 15th July at 1:30pm.
Entrance to the competition is £5 adults, £3 concessions, free for U16, and a £10 Adult for a bundle that gives access to all Four Nations games during the tournament.
All games will be shown live on the ‘University Rugby League’ youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/@universityrugbyleague2936
RLI Students 20 Man Squad.
Alex Duff TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY
Conor Creaby ATU GALWAY
David Goodman UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICk
Ellis Keppel LIVERPOOL JOHN MOORES
Eoin Creaby ATU GALWAY
George Charnock ECCLES SIX FORM
Harry Worsley LIVERPOOL JOHN MOORES
Jake Murray MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY
Louis O’Sullivan HARTPURY UNIVERSITY
James Mulvany LEEDS BECKETT
Jamie Gill WATCH ACADEMY
Josh Hawthorne LOUGHBOROUGH
Nathan Connell COACH CORE APPRENTICES
Paul Bolger (C) UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL LANCASHIRE
Samuel Winney ST. MARY’S UNIVERSITY
Sean Fidlow LIVERPOOL JOHN MOORES
Sean Tracey TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY
Thomas Ashurst PRIESTLY COLLEGE
Ryan Hogg UNIVERSITY OF SHANNON
Louis Collins UNIVERSITY OF LONDON