PwC Hurling All-Star teams set for exhibition match in Abu Dhabi

28 November 2019 3 min. read

Abu Dhabi will host a hurling exhibition match this Friday featuring many of the world's best players. 

Last Friday saw teams from some of the world’s leading consultancies battling it out on the basketball courts of Dubai. This Friday will see an entirely different sporting spectacle, when the PwC Hurling All-Stars squad takes to the pitch for an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi. For the unfamiliar, hurling is a field sport of ancient Gaelic and Irish origin, once described by bewildered American ESPN commentators as a violent mix between soccer, rugby and lacrosse.

A closer description may that of aerial field hockey, but even that fails to offer any real insight into what is touted as the world’s fastest game on grass. But local fans and beginners alike will be treated to some of the sport’s biggest names, with teams drawn from the 2018 and 2019 GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) PwC Hurling All-Stars squads taking on one another in a match at Zayed Sports City – most recently the footballing final’s host for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

For those who want to brush up before the event, the sport of hurling ordinarily consists of teams of 15 players on a rectangular field, with the objective to progress the sliotar (a ball somewhat similar to a baseball) either into a soccer-like net or through upright posts (akin to rugby goals with a net below) with the use of a wooden, hockey-like stick – or hurl – and the unprotected hands and feet. According to Wikipedia, some 70 people die from playing the sport every year. 

PwC Hurling All-Star teams set for exhibition match in Abu Dhabi

And for the uninitiated who want to familiarise themselves with some of players prior to the match, the 27-person travelling party includes the following names from the victorious 2019 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship team Tipperary; Samus Callanan, Cathal Barrett, Padraig Maher, and Noel McGrath, while previous champions Limerick will be represented by Sen Finn, Declan Hannon, Dan Morrissey, Cian Lynch and Graeme Mulcahy. Altogether, players from 13 counties make up the squad. 

“I would like to congratulate each and every one of the 2019 PwC All-Star hurling team on their awards,” said PwC Ireland Managing Partner Feargal O’Rourke following selection earlier this month. “Their talent and dedication gave us, as fans, so much enjoyment over the course of another brilliant season and their recognition as All-Stars is just reward for all of their efforts. We are delighted at PwC to be involved in an awards scheme that celebrates such amazing Irish talent.”

Hosted by the Middle East GAA Board and Abu Dhabi Na Fianna, the day will feature activities for kids along with music, food and entertainment from 2pm, while on-field, local female (camogie) and male players will compete in matches before the main event at 4pm. As part of a five-day tour, the PwC All-Stars will also attend a Saturday evening reception hosted by Aidan Cronin, Ireland’s Ambassador to the UAE – one of an estimated 13,000 Irish expats living in the Gulf.