GRR on X  GRR on Facebook GRR in Instagram GRR Vimeo Library GRR on YouTube RuggaMatrix America Podcasts Support GRR on Patreon

Navy, Notre Dame Face Off in Dublin

irish rugby tours

Navy, Notre Dame Face Off in Dublin

From a few years ago ... Notre Dame vs Navy from 2016. Colleen McCloskey photo.

University of Notre Dame and the US Naval Academy will play a rugby game in Ireland as something of a pre-amble to the much-hyped football game between the two institutions this weekend.

With the Mishipmen and Fighting Irish set to fave off at Aveva Stadium on Saturday, in a somewhat smaller venue the rugby teams will meet on Friday at Trinity College, Dublin University.

The Fighting Irish rugby team has already landed in Ireland and will be enjoying a packed couple of days with training, cultural trips, a tour of Dublin, and Catholic mass at Dublin Castle.

It's a challenging opening game for Notre Dame as they face the defending national champion Midshipmen. And while Navy has graduated several key performers, they remain a formidable side.

For Navy, they come in with a new captain in No. 8 Ben Haugh and vice captains Jke Aleman and Sean MacLaney, all important contributors to last year's championship team.

Meanwhile, even though there are no classes at the Academy on Friday, the freshmen players did not make the trip. This would be Navy's first recruiting class after becoming a full varsity program, but with the semester already underway and freshmen just really getting started, they didn't make the trip.

"We are very much looking forward to it," said Navy Head Coach Gavin Hickie of the Ireland trip. "Our season is up and running now for the next 12 weeks. We're excited to get things going!"

Notre Dame will also run out a side against a Trinity XV. After this opener, the Irish host Trine, are away at Wisconsin, host Marian and Ohio State, take on Michigan State and Michigan on the road, and finish the regular season with home games against Hillsdale, Bowling Green, and Pitt before the Big 10 playoffs.

Navy, meanwhile, will host Delaware and then, interestingly, Trinity before taking on Indiana, Queens, and Kutztown, all at home. They are on the road at Life but host St. Bonaventure, Air Force, and Notre Dame College to round out October. November sees games at Penn State and Army. The Rugby East does not have a conference playoff, and the spring will see Navy likely preparing for the D1A playoffs.