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Biting Back: Rugby now a sport for all seasons

By Niall Crozier

Mention Uruguay to most sports followers and one name springs to mind –Liverpool's Luis Suarez, who goes head to head against a number of his Anfield team-mates in tonight's World Cup clash with England in San Paulo.

Evidently Uruguayan rugby has no-one of comparable status, a fact underlined yesterday afternoon when Emerging Ireland whipped them 51-3 in their IRB Nations Cup encounter in Bucharest.

It feels ridiculous to be writing about rugby two days before the summer solstice, but that's the reality these days – England, Wales and France are in action on June 21 itself while Scotland will face South Africa a week later.

Joe Schmidt's Irish seniors may have finished, but Emerging Ireland and the Under 20s are still playing in Bucharest and Auckland respectively.

Indeed, the Under 20s face host nation New Zealand tomorrow in the IRB Junior World Championship third-fourth place play-off.

Worryingly for the other three provinces, the Irish side to play the junior All Blacks includes 10 Leinster players in the starting line-up plus five more on the bench.

Given that Leinster have just completed another double – RaboDirect PRO12 plus British & Irish Cup winners in 2013-14 – the fact that they have so many excellent young players coming through suggests that they are in no danger of being dethroned for the foreseeable future.

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