This weekend sees elite representative teams from Dublin, North Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, and the University of Limerick compete for the title of National Champions at the Playr-Fit 2023 ITRA Tag Nationals.
The 9th instalment of the event takes place this Saturday and Sunday at University College Cork's Curaheen Road Sports Grounds. "The Farm" is the location of TagRepublic's Spring & Summer leagues. This is the second time the tournament will be held in Cork, following the 2017 event in Cork Constitution RFC.
Mixed games take place on Saturday, with single-sex games on Sunday. Teams compete over a gruelling 7-hour schedule, playing up to six 30-minute games in that period. Squads are selected from the Irish training squads and the best players in the region, as identified by volunteer coaches and scouts.
Scores for the event will be updated throughout the day at https://tagworldcup.spawtz.com, as a trial run for the scoring system we will be using at August's ITF Tag World Cup at the University of Limerick.
30 teams will compete across 5 divisions. The divisions are:
Men's Open - reigning champions Dublin Open
Women's Open - reigning champions Cork
Mixed Open - reigning champions Dublin Open
Men's Masters - new division
Mixed Development - reigning champions Dublin
The overall championship is awarded to the region with the most category points, earned through winning a division or finishing second in the three open categories. Dublin are the reigning champions since 2015.
For players seeking selection for the 2023 ITF Tag World Cup, the tournament represents a late opportunity to stake their case and show what they can do. With the World Cup final happening exactly 10 weeks after the first day of Nationals, everyone's thoughts will be on that final opportunity to prepare in domestic competition.