The 2017 All Ireland Rugby League competition is set to start and the current champions Galway Tribesmen are intent on retaining the trophy they won for the first time last season.
The Tribesmen, who kick off their title bid with a fixture away to Athy Sharks on Saturday, beat Ballynahinch Rabbitohs from Northern Ireland in a nail-biting All Ireland final last August at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray to become the All Ireland champions - a huge achievement for the Tribesmen who were only formed a few years ago.
The club is now hoping to attract new players and supporters in their bid to win back-to-back titles. It is also forming a second league team, which will be launched soon, to provide greater strength in depth to the club. Called the Galway Bay Pirates, they will compete in a ‘merit league’ basis in friendly matches.
Club spokesman Thomas Hynes says as well as retaining the ROI and All Ireland trophies, the club wants to continue raising standards both on and off the playing field.
"We also want to continue to forge links with the local community, who have supported our home games. The club would encourage any interested players, volunteers and would-be supporters to get in touch and join the ever-growing Galway Rugby League family."
The Tribesmen and Pirates play their home games at South Park, Claddagh (The Swamp ).
The regular round fixtures for the Tribesmen are: May 13, Athy Sharks v Tribesmen (A ); May 20, Tribesmen v West Dublin Bears (H ); June 3, Tribesmen v Athboy Longhorns (H ); June 10, Cork Bulls v Tribesmen (A ); June 17, Tribesmen v Dublin City Exiles (H ); July 1, Waterford Vikings v Tribesmen (A ); July 8, Tribesmen v Treaty City Titans (H ).
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