Dublin University, founded in 1854, was the first organised Rugby Football Club in Ireland. Students at the University had first learnt the game while at English Public Schools. Other clubs which were formed at the time and are still in existence include, Wanderers founded in 1869; Lansdowne (1873); Dungannon (1873); UCC (1874); Co. Carlow (1873); Ballinasloe (1875); NIFC (1868); Queen's University (1869).
When the first International was played against England in February 1875, the teams were twenty a side and the Irish team included 12 players from Leinster and eight from Ulster. The first fifteen a side match was in 1877 and the first Munster players were chosen in 1879.
After 12 outright wins in the home,5 and 6 nations competition the IRFU look towards the future for continued successes.
To keep developing from the first international we, as the IRFU, have had to develop a series of strategic plans. As the Governing Body for rugby across the island of Ireland and following almost two years of research and consultation with stakeholders, it is our collective resolve that this next stage in our vision for Irish rugby should be titled:
"From Grassroots to International Success; One Island, One Passion, One Goal''.
This is the plan which will get us to the 2019 RWC and beyond.