Lansdowne to begin defence of their title away to Clontarf
Many men’s and women’s AIL club fixtures to be played on the same day
Clontarf and Galwegians in action at Castle Avenue. Photograph: Eric Luke
In a progressive development for club rugby a large tranche of men’s and women’s All-Ireland fixtures will be played together on the same afternoon where possible in an effort to attract more members to both games and thereby create a better atmosphere.
The defending champions in Division One of the women’s All-Ireland League, UL Bohemian begin their campaign against Highfield on Saturday, September 29th (5.0) in the first of those double headers with the men’s game against Highfield in Division 2A (2.30) kicking off the afternoon’s entertainment.
The beaten finalists Old Belvedere are on the road to Cooke who finished fourth last season, while runners-up Railway Union are also away as they travel the short distance to newly promoted St Mary’s College. The final match of the opening weekend sees Blackrock College at home to Galwegians.
In the men’s All-Ireland League Division 1A, champions, Lansdowne, make the relatively short trip to Castle Avenue where they will take on the 2016 winners, Clontarf in the first of the Friday night lights fixtures (8.0).
The opening weekend will also see beaten finalists and 2017 champions Cork Constitution host newly-promoted Shannon at Temple Hill.
Garryowen welcome Dublin University while the James Blaney-coached Terenure College travel to Young Munster. The final fixture is the intervarsity clash as UCD entertains UCC in their first fixture amongst the elite clubs.
Division 2A, 2B and 2C kick off a week earlier in late September with league newcomers Ballina, who qualified at the end of last season, at home to Omagh Academicals in their first match in Division 2C.
Some fixtures – they are available at www.irishrugby.ie – may be subject to changed pending the release of the European Champions and Challenge Cup fixtures.