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UCC Rugby announces season of special events for 150th Anniversary

19 May 2022

Ulysses S. Grant was resident in the White House, Queen Victoria sat on the throne in England, and Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days was first published in 1872 - the same year Queen’s College Cork published its first rulebook for playing rugby in Cork.

Now UCC Rugby is to celebrate its storied history with a season of celebrations to mark its 150th anniversary.

The sporting celebrations kick off on Friday September 23 with a celebration game between UCC and Oxford University at the Mardyke, the latter having also celebrated the 150th anniversary of their annual rugby game this year.

The season will be marked with the theme “A Past That Shapes Our Future”, and other sporting events to mark the occasion include:


  • UCC will travel to London Irish in January 2023 to play a game vs London Irish Amateur RFC who this season will be celebrating their 125th anniversary.

  • UCC Rugby Women will tour Oxford in the Autumn this year.

  • UCC’s annual “Colours Match” will be held on Saturday November 26 2022 at the Mardyke.

  • Ireland Students vs France Students will be hosted by UCC at the Mardyke on Friday February 10 2023

  • UCC will launch a new Mixed Rugby (Men & Women playing together) Interfaculty Competition in 2022-23. It is expected that the competition will be named after UCC Rugby’s most famous alumnus who died earlier this year – Tom Kiernan.

Supporting this anniversary year UCC Rugby has created a brand new logo which was displayed for the first time tonight at the Mardyke,  This will be used by UCC merchandising to deliver merchandising options to supporters and alumni through the year.

Did you know?

  • UCC is the oldest rugby club in Munster and third oldest in Ireland.

  • It was founded in 1872 by members of the medical faculty and students, hence the adoption of the Skull & Crossbones as the sporting emblem for the club.

  • The Skull & Crossbones was adopted across the rest of the university’s sports in the 1920s, and is now synonymous with UCC Sport.

Speaking at the launch of the celebrations, UCC President Prof John O’Halloran said;

“UCC Rugby has had an indelible impression on our University over the past 150 years, with many notable alumni wearing the Skull and Crossbones with pride. From Tom Kiernan through to Donal Lenihan, Peter Stringer, Ronan O’Gara and more, UCC Rugby has a proud heritage of producing Ireland internationals and Lions.

“Reflective of UCC’s own constant development, UCC Rugby has grown over the decades to mirror our evolving student community, establishing women’s teams and is looking to the future with the establishment of the Mixed Rugby Interfaculty Competition,” he said.

Finbar Dennehy, UCC Rugby President 2022-23 said:

"We are delighted to launch our 150th anniversary year as UCC Rugby Club. It is a great honour for me to represent the club this year and I look forward to the many events and celebrations planned over the course of the season. It is a testament to the continuing success and support of UCC that this club goes from strength to strength over its storied past and into the future."

Morgan Buckley, UCC Director of Sport and Physical Activity said:

"I wish to offer sincere congratulations to all at UCC Rugby, and I'm looking forward to a dynamic and exciting programme of activities to celebrate the year ahead".

Department of Sport & Physical Activity

Spórt UCC

Ferry Lodge, Mardyke Walk, T12 P282