On a bright, late spring day (April 17th) the crowds gathered at the Shelbourne Hotel for the third annual Rugby 20/20 Business Lunch.
The event, which is organised by former Union President, Peter Cosgrove and rugby legend Denis Hickie, has grown from strength to strength and is set to be a staple fixture on the social calendar for many years to come.
The event was SOLD OUT weeks in advance and in excess of 340 people gathered with high expectations for an enjoyable and entertaining afternoon and they were not disappointed.
Following a drinks reception, lunch was called and the welcome address was given by Union President, Daragh Coleman, who in turn called upon Fr Olan to say Grace.
Later the guests were addressed by Denis Hickie who outlined the background to Rugby 20/20 and, further to this, he set out some of its achievements to date and immediate goals. This included a proposal to resurface the front pitch in The College with a similar 4G artificial surface to that recently installed in Donnybrook Stadium.
He also acknowledged the efforts and support of Gabriel Fulcher in implementing the foundations of the Rugby 20/20 program. Gabriel will be leaving the College at the end of the academic year.
Denis concluded his speech by welcoming Irish Rugby Coach Joe Schmidt on stage for a question and answers session with sports broadcaster Eoin McDevitt.
Joe gave a wonderful, and at times humorous, insight into the continued success of the Irish Rugby team together with his hopes and aspirations for the forthcoming Rugby World Cup, in which he hopes to at least reach a semi-final.
Some interesting questions were posed from the floor on various topics including team selections at both international and inter-provincial level, all of which Joe answered with a great display of knowledge.
While the formal lunch was brought to a close, and on the basis that it was now “too late to go home early” many then retired to the Shelbourne Bar for some serious “networking”, recalling that it was a “Business Lunch”. For some, the networking continued on to other venues in the greater Merrion Row area with many “meetings” concluding very late on Friday evening and Saturday morning.
Details of next year’s event will be released shortly and the Union Committee would like to wish Peter, Denis and their wider committee the very best with Rugby 20/20.