Former Irish International and British & Irish Lion, Stephen Ferris launched the 2015 Heineken Kinsale 7s at a reception for sponsors, club members and friends at the White Lady, Kinsale, last night. He was joined by County Mayor, Cllr Alan Coleman and The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Mary Shields who lent their support to the event.
The Heineken Kinsale 7s takes place in Kinsale over the May Bank Holiday 2nd and 3rd May and is always a popular festival for players and supporters with over 10,000 visitors expected.
Now in its 27th year, The Heineken Kinsale 7s is Irelandâ€™s largest Rugby 7s tournament and builds on its success each year. As always, it will be an action-packed weekend of competitive 7s rugby for an attractive prize fund, trophies and medals.
Due to its continued popularity, the Heineken Kinsale 7s is almost fully subscribed with nearly 80 teams registered from Austria, Germany, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Canada, France, Norway, the UK and Ireland, featuring elite and club players from all over the world.
This year, Kinsale RFC welcomes to the Menâ€™s Elite Competition defending champions Wooden Spoon Marauders, The Red Pandas and Camarthen Warriors/North Wales Exiles from the UK, The RRR Roosters from Canada and a team from UCD.
In the Menâ€™s Open competition, defending Champions The Lightning Bolts are hoping for three-in-a-row wins. However The Burgundy Barbarians, Lettuce Entertain You, Belfast Met, Kinsale RFC and Rugbyklubbenspeed from Denmark will be strong challengers.
In the Menâ€™s Social competition there are a number of Irish and visiting teams from Denmark, France and the UK, all looking forward to a weekend of running rugby and a great festival atmosphere and Irish hospitality.
Irish International Women in Kinsale this year
The Womenâ€™s tournament is hugely popular again this year, with over 20 teams in the Open and Social competitions including the Donau Pirates from Vienna, The Norwegian Vikingettes, a team from Luxembourg and the WRR-Ravens with a number of Irish womenâ€™s internationals Tania Rosser, Sophie Spence, Sene Naoupu, Amy Davis, Sharon Lynch and former Captain Fiona Coghlan who is coming out of retirement to play in Kinsale.
Pat Maher Heinekenâ€™s Event and Sponsorship Manager said; â€œHeineken, alongside our business partners in Kinsale and surrounding areas, are delighted to continue our long association with this fantastic event. As the game of rugby continues to grow in Ireland for both men and women, it is wonderful to see the 7s game played at both a competitive and social level. We wish Kinsale RFC continued success planning and presenting another successful tournament over the May Bank Holiday Weekend.â€
For the seventh year, Kukri is the official event wear for the Kinsale 7s. At the launch, Tomas Oâ€™Brien, Tournament Director, thanked both Pat Maher of Heineken Ireland and Terry Jackson, Managing Director of Kukri for their continued involvement and support.
â€œThe Heineken Kinsale 7s generates a massive boost to Kinsale Rugby Club and the local economy at the start of the tourist season and is staffed entirely by volunteers. I wish to thank Heineken, Kukri and all our partners and volunteers for their continued support. We welcome Stephen Ferris back to Kinsale, as he attended the Kinsale 7s a few years ago and we look forward to welcoming all teams and visitors to Kinsale this year,â€ said Tomas Oâ€™Brien, Heineken Kinsale 7s Tournament Director.
Other partners include Hayes Caravan Services, Benchwarmers and EMC. Charity partners this year include the Wooden Spoon Childrenâ€™s Charity and CUH Charity. All proceeds from collections during the Kinsale 7s will go towards patient care at Cork University Hospital. For further information on the work of the charity, please visit www.cuhcharity.ie
This year Kinsale 7s is partnering with Benchwarmers, an exciting start-up company that has nearly half a million facebook and twitter following in Ireland and the UK. The Heineken Kinsale 7s continues to increase its social media profile attracting over 100,000 facebook friends during last yearâ€™s event and many thousands of twitter followers.
For further information and updates, visit www.kinsale7s.com of follow us on facebook and twitter.
Picture. John Allen