Ulster Rugby vs Clermont

In particular, I am pleased to welcome the Clermont Auvergne team along with their coaches, Directors and supporters. Clermont Auvergne has been having an excellent season and are currently top of the French Top 14 League, as well as top of our European group and will no doubt provide a stern test for the Ulster team tonight. The Ulster team got back to winning ways last weekend with an excellent bonus point victory in Cardiff and hopefully will carry that form into today’s game. I must say farewell to two Ulster stalwarts. Dan Tuohy, who is going back home to play for Bristol, and Assistant Coach Joe Barakat who is returning to his native Australia to take up the position as Senior Assistant Coach at Western Force. Both have made a great contribution to Ulster Rugby and we wish them well in their new roles. The Ireland team and management are to be congratulated on an excellent Guinness Autumn Series with 3 wins out of 4 including that great win over New Zealand in Chicago. Congratulations go to Rory Best, Jared Payne, Andrew Trimble, Iain Henderson, Paddy Jackson, Luke Marshall and Craig Gilroy, all of whom played in the Autumn Series games. Special congratulations go to Rory Best on winning his 100th cap for Ireland – a tremendous achievement. On the domestic rugby front, Ballynahinch and Dungannon are to be congratulated on getting through to the First Trust Senior Cup Final. Congratulations also go to Omagh and Ballynahinch 2nds, who are through to the final of the Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup, and to Clogher Valley who are through to the All Ireland Junior Cup semi-final. I would also encourage all Ulster Rugby fans to get involved with our Christmas Present Appeal, which is a joint initiative with our charity partner, Include Youth. This charity supports 500 young people from disadvantaged communities throughout the Province and looks to help them move into training or employment. Fans are encouraged to donate a present to make sure the young people that Include Youth work with, who often live in children’s homes or residential care, receive a special gift this Christmas. Donations of Christmas presents can be made at reception in the main administration building. Ulster Rugby, in conjunction with Slim’s Kitchen and Include Youth, have also launched the first ever Ulster Rugby Charity Recipe Book. This book will make a great Christmas present and fans are encouraged to purchase a copy for £5. All proceeds will go to our charity partner. Finally, it was with great sadness that Ulster Rugby learnt of the passing of Jamie Donaldson last week. Jamie was an ardent and passionate supporter of Ulster Rugby who, even with his disability, rarely missed a game, whether home or away and who had built up a special relationship with the players. He will be sadly missed and the condolences of all at Ulster Rugby go to his parents and the family circle. I hope everyone enjoys the game tonight as well as the facilities at Kingspan Stadium and remember - “Stand Up For The Ulstermen”. John McKibbin President IRFU (Ulster Branch) It gives me great pleasure as President of the IRFU Ulster Branch to welcome everyone to Kingspan Stadium for this evening’s Round 3 match in the European Champions Cup. PRESIDENT’S WELCOME


IRFU ULSTER BRANCH 2016/17 OFFICERS John McKibbin President Graffin Parke Senior Vice President Stephen Elliott Junior Vice President Denis Gardiner Honorary Secretary Michael Boyd Honorary Treasurer Greg Irwin Competitions Secretary EXECUTIVE TEAM Shane Logan Chief Executive Chris Webster Domestic Rugby Manager Audrey Robinson Financial Controller Fiona Hampton Head of Sales & Marketing Les Kiss Director of Rugby

Kingspan Stadium, 134 Mount Merrion Avenue Belfast, BT6 0FT T +44 (0)28 9049 3222 ulsterrugby.com



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