RUSKIN host Pilkington Recs’ Challenge Cup First Round clash against the Galway Tribesmen on Saturday, 2.30pm.

Ireland’s only representative in this year’s competition sail over on Friday evening and are set to arrive in St Helens at 2am on the Saturday morning, just over 12 hours before kick-off.

It is a little bit of history for rugby league in the town.

Galway club secretary, Thomas Hynes, said: “We’re proud and we’re honoured to take part in such a prestigious tournament, we can’t wait to get involved and show people what we’re about.”

The current All-Ireland Champions make the journey across the Irish Sea with high hopes, but it hasn’t all been plain sailing.

Hynes, who founded the club in 2012, said: “Rugby League wasn’t really played in Connacht, so a few people came together to create a team that could compete in the RLI tournaments.

“To improve year on year is the aim and competing in such a prestigious competition will hopefully be a catalyst for that.”

The Tribesmen will take confidence from their 30-16 Grand Final victory over rivals Dublin City Exiles back in August as they look to start this year like they finished the last but are aware of the challenge posed by Pilkington Recs on Saturday.

Hynes said: “We’re playing one of the best Amateur sides in the game, but no tie would’ve been an easy one and whatever the outcome it’ll be a memorable experience.”

Thatto travel to Lock Lane, Castleford for their round one tie.