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Clincher Clinches His Cap

After a long wait, longtime Blackrock rugby club member and neighbour Paul 'Clincher' Clinch was awarded his first Irish international cap at Ireland's Summer Nations match against England on Saturday at Aviva. Clinch was one of a dozen players who played for Ireland against non 'original rugby nations' who was awarded their caps retrospectively.

Clinch played for Lansdowne, but calls Blackrock his home. Today he lives nearby the club and still plays rugby (tag) at Stradbrook regularly.

Clinch comes from a long line of cap winners, including his grandfather JD Clinch and great-grandfather AD Clinch, who both won Ireland and Lions Caps.

The delayed international cap came after an extended campaign to retrospectively award caps to a dozen mostly former players to finally be recognised by the IRFU. For Clinch, his cap comes more than 30 years after he donned the green shirt for Ireland.

Clinch gives credit to Rock for helping to set the precedent of retrospective caps.

'In fact, I probably have several Rock members to be grateful to, but these are the various "historic women" who were retrospectively awarded caps for their matches in the early years of women's internationals. Once this wrong was put right, it was probably inevitable that they would have to correct the men's record.'

'It's just an unusual situation that I would be a member of [Blackrock College RFC] when I was awarded my cap,' said Clinch. 'I certainly don't see myself as Fergus Slattery or Ray McLoughlin!! I am, however, proud to be a member of Rock and in one respect at least their oldest first capper of all time 😁'

We're proud to have you, Clincher! Everyone at Stradbrook is thrilled for you to receive this long overdue honor.

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