By Conor McHugh Newbridge Silverware has announced a five-year rugby scholarship programme for Newbridge College.
Making the announcement this week, the company said that "the two great Irish icons have united to create this unique opportunity for up to five suitable candidates to gain a rounded education combined with complete rugby training at one of Ireland's most notable rugby training grounds – Newbridge College".
"The Newbridge Silverware Rugby Scholarship is committed to providing world-class educational and sporting opportunities for outstanding young individuals who have demonstrated their talent on the rugby pitch, as well as their academic ability.
"We at Newbridge Silverware are delighted to be associated with another great Irish institution, Newbridge College" William Doyle, Newbridge Silverware CEO explained.
"Over the years the Newbridge brand has been linked with some of the greatest rugby players Ireland has ever produced, from former Irish captain Keith Wood to the current face of our 'Gents Collection', Ronan O'Gara.
"Through the Scholarship Programme we hope to be able to fulfil the dreams of talented young individuals so that they too may follow in the footsteps of these great players and one day represent Ireland at an internationa level.
"We are confident that the training these candidates will receive at Newbridge College will transform these candidates into world-class status both on and off the rugby pitch."
Founded by the Dominican Order in 1852, Newbridge College is a co-educational day school with a student population of nearly 783 students.
The College has gained a formidable reputation for creating rugby players of remarkable talent including international players such as Mick Doyle, Tom Grace, Seamus Byrne, Tom Doyle, Ronan Kearney, Fergus Keogh, Philip Lawlor, Robbie McGrath, Freddie McLennan, Geordan Murphy, Mick Quinn, Chris Jenkinson, Etienne Murphy, JJ Hayden, Michael Kiernan and Jamie Heaslip.
The Newbridge Silverware Scholarship is valued at E20,000 per year for a period of five years.
The full scholarship will cover all tuition fees in the College and any additional day to day boarding expenses.
In addition, Newbridge Silverware have donated a series of exclusively-designed perpetual trophys for presentation to the Player of the Year, the Front of the Year and the Back of the Year on both the junior and senior teams.
The criteria for the scholarship are that candidates must have completed Junior Certificate or three years of second-level education, have a proven academic and discipline record in their present school and come with a recommendation from a recognised rugby club.
Assessment will be carried out by an assessor nominated by the school's Board of Governors.