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UCD Ad Astra Elite scholars kick off Ireland's Rugby World Cup campaign

Posted 8 September, 2022

UCD Ad Astra Elite scholar Josh van der Flier representing Ireland during the 2023 Six Nations Championship. Credit: Stefano Delfrate

Four UCD Ad Astra Elite scholars are to start in Ireland's Rugby World Cup opener with Romania.

Ireland kick-off their 2023 Rugby World Cup campaign on Saturday in Bordeaux, and among those chosen to start are Garry Ringrose, James Ryan, Andrew Porter, and Josh van der Flier, named World Rugby Men’s XVs Player of the Year in 2022. 

Each is a former UCD Ad Astra Elite Athlete scholar and member of UCD Rugby.

Across the 33-player squad announced for the Rugby World Cup by Irish Head Coach Andy Farrell, UCD is well represented. 

There were some 13 UCD alumni selected for Ireland, with six being former members of the UCD Ad Astra Academy as well as a number of former players from UCD Rugby, and UCD students.

UCD alumni representing Ireland

  • Andrew Porter, UCD Ad Astra Elite scholar
  • James Ryan, UCD Ad Astra Elite scholar
  • Ross Byrne, UCD Ad Astra Elite scholar
  • Josh Van der Flier, UCD Ad Astra Elite scholar
  • Garry Ringrose, UCD Ad Astra Elite scholar
  • Jeremy Loughman, 1st year UCD Ad Astra Elite scholar
  • Jonathan Sexton  
  • Hugo Keenan
  • Jimmy O'Brien
  • Ronan Kelleher
  • Caelan Doris
  • Robbie Henshaw
  • Jimmy O’Brien

“As coaches, we are pleased with our 33-player selection and believe we have chosen the right group to represent Ireland in France. It is a hugely exciting time for the group as we prepare to depart for Tours and finalise our preparations for our Rugby World Cup opener against Romania,” said Head Coach Andy Farrell.

“We look forward to the challenges ahead, knowing there is a huge level of support for the team from across the four Provinces, from all those in green around the world and from the thousands who will be in France backing us throughout the tournament.”

Ireland captain and UCD graduate Jonathan Sexton added: “It is a great honour to lead this group of players to the Rugby World Cup. We have been open and honest about our ambitions for the weeks ahead and with a strong body of work behind us in pre-season, we are looking forward to travelling to France this week to fine-tune our preparations.”

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations

To contact the UCD News & Content Team, email: newsdesk@ucd.ie