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Just about 24 hours before one of the most storied rivalries in football kicks off, Michigan and Notre Dame will tangle on the rugby pitch.

For the Fighting Irish, Friday night marks their first contest of the season. The Irish play an independent 15s schedule in the fall, with match-ups slated against the likes of Oklahoma, Indiana, Davenport and Navy. The Irish season comes to a climax with the Varsity Cup in the spring.

Michigan, however, is ramping towards the Big Ten season and a fall playoff. The Wolverines are fresh off a two-point defeat of Wheeling Jesuit last weekend, and they jump into conference play next week at Purdue, so the Irish serve as extra preparation.

“It's a great test for our team as we head into Big Ten play. Notre Dame is a tough rugby team. I hope the rivalry and competition can help both teams reveal what they are capable of. I'm sure it will be a memorable night,” said Michigan coach Matt Trenary.

“We haven't played them in a few years. But we expect a disciplined and well coached team. They won't beat themselves.”