International American Football

American Teams in Ireland


The first ever American Football games played in Ireland were in the 1940s, when teams of US Servicemen returning from WW2 played matches in Ravenhill (Home of Ulster Rugby) and Croke Park (Home of the GAA) in aid of the Irish Red Cross. Further matches were played in the 1950s & 1960s by US Air Force Personnel stationed at US Air Bases in Britain & Germany during the Cold War.

There were also during the late 1980s and up until the mid-1990s high-profile pre-season matches between NCAA College teams and one NFL match between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears.

2012 also saw the return of the high-profile NCAA games to Ireland, featuring both NCAA Division I Regular Season Matches, and also the Global Ireland Football Tournament, a series of 6 Regular Season NCAA Division III and High School matches played at a variety of venues across Ireland.

American Football in Ireland | ETO, USAFE and High Schools 1942-1973

NFL & NCAA Pre-Season Games in Ireland 1988-1997

NCAA Football | Regular Season Games in Ireland 2012-2016

North American Football Teams in Ireland | Global Ireland Football Tournament 2012-2014

Irish Teams v American Teams (1986-Present)

In the 1980s the first Irish American Football teams were formed following the UK’s Channel 4 TV station airing a Weekly NFL Highlight Show, and matches were organised between Irish Teams and Eastern Football League (Massachusetts area) Semi-Pro Teams.

Matches were also irregularly scheduled between Irish teams and US Servicemen and High schools.

In 2004 the first matches between Ireland and NCAA Division III teams were organised, and in 2007 these became a regular fixture in Ireland, between Irish Club Teams and NCAA Division III teams.

International American Football | Irish Teams v Eastern Football League Teams 1985-1986

International American Football | Irish Teams v US Services & High Schools

International American Football | Ireland v NCAA Division III Teams 2004-2005

International American Football | Irish Teams v NCAA Division III Teams 2007-2019

Canadian Football Teams in Ireland

Canadian College & High School (2012-Present)

Canadian U20 & High School teams played Regular Season Matches and Exhibition matches in Ireland in 2012 & 2013, against other Canadian teams and European US High Schools.

International American Football | Canadian U20 & High School Teams in Ireland 2012-2013

Irish Teams v Canadian Teams (1994-Present)

From the mid-1990s an irregular series of matches involving Canadian Football teams was organised with Canadian Rules slipped into the American Football Rules.

The Canadian Teams returned in 2002 & 2013 for matches against Irish Teams.

International American Football | Irish Teams v Canadian Semi-Pro Teams 1994-1995

International American Football | Irish Teams v Canadian U21 Teams 2002-2013

European American Football (Irish Clubs & Team Ireland):


The Dublin Celts, the first American Football team in Ireland, formed in 1984, played matches against British opposition in 1985 & 1986 due to lack of kitted opposition in Ireland.

In 1986 the first Shamrock Bowl was played and the Irish American Football League was started the following year, with the Shamrock Bowl Champions winning the right to represent Ireland in the Eurobowl, the European Champions Cup.

Britain was expelled from the European Football League in 1992, and Ireland left the organisation at the same time as it could not afford to play games in continental Europe. Irish teams played a series of matches against English, Scottish and Welsh teams from then until 2000, and the Nations Cup, between Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales was held from 1996-1999.

In 2002 Ireland rejoined the European circuit, with the Dublin Rebels playing in the Charleroi Trophy in Belgium, an unofficial Championship for amateur Western European Champions, such as the Irish, Belgian & Dutch Leagues.

From 2005-2006 Irish teams returned to playing British teams, and then in 2009 the first Atlantic Cup, an official tournament for the Champions of amateur Western European Leagues was held. Belgian, Dutch, Irish and sometimes either a Luxembourg representative or a team from the French third level competed for this European Tier 3 Trophy until 2016, when the Belgian & Dutch entrants made the step up to EFL (Tier 2) level.

From 2014-present a series of matches involving Irish teams and teams from the Atlantic Fringe, such as Scotland and Iberia, have been played, as well as Internationals between Ireland and Belgium and Netherlands.

Ireland Internationals (Overviews): 

European American Football | Ireland v European Teams 1995-1996

Home Nations American Football | Nations Cup 1996-2000

Four Nations American Football | Nations Cup 1996-1999 (Irish Leprechauns Results)

European Federation of American Football | Team Ireland v British Teams 2004-2006

International Federation of American Football Europe | Irish Wolfhounds v European Teams 2016-2019

Irish Club Internationals (Overviews):

Four Nations American Football | Irish v British Teams 1985-1989

Irish International American Football | Capitol Bowl 1986

Irish American Football League | Summer Bowl Festival 1986-1989

European Football League | Eurobowl 1988-1992

Combined Gridiron League 1989 & NCMMA 1990

Four Nations American Football | Four Nations Bowls 1992-1998

European Federation of American Football | Charleroi Trophy 2002-2004

European Federation of American Football | Irish Teams v English Teams 2005-2006

European American Football | Atlantic Cup 2009-2016

International Federation of American Football Europe | European Fringe Bowls 2014-2017

European American Football (Seasons):

European Football League | Eurobowl:

1988 1989 1990 1991 1992

Four Nations American Football | Four Nations Bowl:


Nations Cup:

1996 1997 1998 1999

EFAF | Charleroi Trophy:

2002 2003 2004

EFAF | International Friendlies:

2004 2006

EFAF | Atlantic Cup:

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

GFLI | Atlantic Cup:


IFAFE | Atlantic Cup:

2016 2017

IFAFE | International Friendlies:

2016 2018

Ireland International American Football (Box-Scores & Match Reports):

Irish Leprechauns International Results (Box-Scores & Match Reports):

Great Britain Lions 22 Irish Leprechauns 0 | 18 March 1995

Team Ireland International Results (Box-Scores & Match Reports):

Ireland 6 Great Britain Bulldogs 69 | 4 September 2004

Ireland 8 Coventry Jets 35 | 15 October 2006

Irish Wolfhounds International Results (Box-Scores & Match Reports):

Dutch Lions 20 Irish Wolfhounds 0 | 27 August 2016

Irish Wolfhounds 20 Belgian Barbarians 19 | 20 October 2018

Belgian Barbarians 6 Irish Wolfhounds 7 | Oct 2019