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Volume 90, Issue 75

Thursday, February 06, 1997



The fresh scent of Irish spring

©Peter Burns/Gazette
GRAB THEM FIRST CLASS TICKETS! Western's tough guys are heading over to the Land of Lucky Charms this spring for some rough and tumble. Should be marshmallowy delicious.

By Joe Ruscica
Gazette Staff

As the Western men's rugby team continues to plan its trip to Ireland, head coach Gerry Slattery continues his search for a pot of gold to pay for the team's expenses.

Thus far, the rugby team has arranged a number of fund-raising events including a snow tournament, an auction and the selling of T-shirts.

Slattery hopes to accumulate at least $4,000 from T-shirt sales (with help from the Western population) which would take a huge chunk out of the Ireland bill. The original cost per player to travel to Ireland was $1,500, but Slattery is very happy with the fund-raising and hopes the price tag will drop significantly.

"With the fund-raising, we hope to bring the cost per player down to $1,100 to $1,200," he said.

The team will be going in style, wearing embroidered jackets and sporting the purple and white Western colours. However, the club plans to have more than just a fashion influence on the Irish.

The team departs Feb. 20 and is looking forward to the experience and the tough battles it will encounter.

"We're expecting to do very well. We're going there to win all four games," Slattery said. "The reality is [the Irish teams] are at the end of their season. They'll be in good shape."

He is confident with his team and feels the key is to get a good start on the fighting Irish.

"The first two games we want to get right into it. We want to take the Irish on at their own game."

The Western club will be led by a number of players. Last week, David Potter, Ryan Graham, Ed Gardner and Joel Palmer were named to the OUAA all-star team and Slattery is looking to them for leadership in the tournament.

"We are looking to Ed Gardner to produce some good stuff and Ryan Graham is back from injury," Slattery said.

As an invitational player, the Mustangs have brought Barry O'Shea (a business graduate from Western and one time rugby star) out of retirement to aid in their attempt to clean house in Ireland.

Slattery assured The Gazette that he would keep the Western populous informed during the team's stay in Ireland. A London Free Press representative will be travelling with them and Slattery will be faxing in results from each game.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1997