The Rose of Tralee is the nation's greatest celebration of the fairer sex, and has featured many memorable (and less memorable) sporting moments down through the years. To mark its long-awaited return to our lives tonight, here are some of the greatest Rose of Tralee sport moments
The time Aston Villa's Leandro Bacuna made an appearance
The cameo of Leandro Bacuna on the Rose of Tralee last year may go down as the most random moment in Irish television history. Last year's Germany Rose was a big Villa fan and someone on the production team organised Irish Villa legend
Steve Staunton Paul McGrath Leandro Bacuna to prerecord a message of support. The Germany Rose could not identify Bacuna. Neither could Daithí.
😂😂Leandro Bacuna was on the rose of Tralee and your wan who was the Villa supporter didn't know who he was 😂
— Stephen Lawlor (@stephenl15) August 19, 2015
The time Gabby Logan was Leeds Rose
Back in 1991, an 18-year-old Gabby Logan (nee Yorath) wore the Leeds sash. Interestingly, Gabby had been an athlete at the time, and was hoping to represent Britain at the Olympics as a rhythmic gymnast before sciatica derailed her career. Gaybo seems half awake in this interview but Logan is hugely composed and ready for prime time.
Gabby Logan represents Leeds at The Rose of Tralee 1991 Watch more https://t.co/Dr6dR92iZt https://t.co/YNVCloi2dg
— RTÉ Archives (@RTEArchives) August 17, 2016
The time hip hop dancing made its Rose of Tralee debut
Hip hop dancing may not be an Olympic sport but it is a sport of the people, as the Dublin Rose showed with this masterpiece of bodyrocking.
The time Anna Geary was Cork Rose
Cork camogie player Anna Geary stepped into the dome in 2014, in one of the more competitive Rose season's this decade. Geary recited a poem she composed herself and remains probably the most prominent Irish female athlete to chase the Rose tiara. Her appearance also featured cardboard cut-outs.
The time Declan Ryan's sister was the Tipp Rose
Back in August 2011, Tipp were going for an unusual double and it all centred around the Declan Ryan family tree. Ryan was trying to steer Tipp to a two-in-a-row at exact time that his sister Noirin was representing Tipp in Tralee. Noirin herself was handy with a hurl, and was captain of the Tipp intermediate camogie team in 2011. Sadly, she didn't win the tiara and Brian Cody trampled all over Ryan's dreams two weeks later.
The time Tommy Walsh's first cousin was Kilkenny Rose
Last year, Claire Walsh - Tommy's first cousin - wore the sash for the black and amber. The Tullaron woman though is also a pretty decent hurler as the Hogan Stand recounted last November:
After helping Tullaroan to a dramatic 0-8 to 1-4 victory over Carlow's Myshall in the intermediate final, Claire swapped her hurl for the microphone and sang Amhran na bhFiann before the senior final, which saw Wexford's Oulart The Ballagh also record a one-point victory over St. Vincent's of Dublin, 0-12 to 2-5.
The time a Rose's dad produced an Eric Cantona mask
This story could be completely fabricated but bear with me. This Rose of Tralee correspondent was in Ireland some August in the mid 1990s and he clearly remembers a Rose giving a shoutout to her Manchester United supporting - a chubby man with a shaved head - who promptly produced an Eric Cantona mask and pulled it over his face. I don't think she won.