Rogers and Hegarty set for return to action


Ballynahinch, whether they deserve it or not, are regarded as the primary team to beat in Division Three of the All-Ireland League. Their 49-8 win over Corinthians in the first week of competition just about shaded that of the impressive UCD who over-ran Collegians 43-6.

For the long journey south to Bohemians on Saturday, the Ulster side make just one change. Michael Rogers comes in for Freddy Murphy in the back row. Rogers has been out for almost a month with a back injury.

Suttonians, who have suffered an early setback against NIFC, continue to struggle with an under-strength team. Still shy four or five players from last year, their reckoning is that they will not be fully equipped until after Christmas. Opportunities rest there for Trinity and Queen's, who both meet the north Dublin side in the run-in to that break.

A likely starter in the Suttonians pack on Saturday is Philip Hegarty, who spent all last season on the injured list and played no part in the successful AIL campaign. He is now fully fit.

Also in the line-up is Russell Southam, who has scored four tries in the last three games and comes with the experience of Connacht's European Conference run. Doubtful, however, are Steven Gallagher and Joe Kennedy, regulars last season, but currently fighting for fitness.

Trinity, as usual, are pulling against the mass summer exodus of students. Gone are Brian Quinn, Jan Cunningham, Aleric Turtle and Dara McElligott which fairly devastates the back line. The forwards are less disrupted for the visit to Sutton.

In Division Four, Carlow's reputation has not been overblown. Sixty points against CIYMS to no reply indicates a certain inevitability about promotion. A few injuries are still not cleared up and they have not yet selected for this weekend's home game against Richmond.

Richmond also have injury worries and are playing a wait-and-see game. Wing forward Donal Keane is a particular worry. He picked up a bad knock against Bangor two weeks ago and did not play last weekend either.

The Leinster Youth XV continue their interprovincial campaign against Connacht in Galway on Saturday. Leinster have beaten Ulster 30-9 at Ravenhill while Connacht accounted for Munster, 19-13, in Galway.

Leinster show one change from the Ulster game, with Boyne's Brian Davis moving from the centre to full-back in place of Suttonians' Joseph Walsh. Roy Copeland from Wicklow now partners Athy's Cameron Blanchfield in the centre.