17 May, 13:32
A selection of players from the Daughters of Charity in Munster recently took part in a challenge match at Garryowen Rugby Club.
The squad is selected from players in the AIB League who are not currently on a professional contract and the Club international fixtures provide an opportunity for the best players in the amateur game to represent their country.
This fixture has become increasingly popular in recent seasons with the Ireland Club side acquitting themselves well in games against England Counties and the Scotland Club side. This is the third meeting with England Counties. The AIB Club side won the first meeting in 2007 by 20 - 17 while last year the tie ended in a 13 all draw.
Munster clubs have dominated AIB League rugby down through the years and this is demonstrated by the presence of ten players drawn from clubs in the Province in the starting XV including three each from reigning AIB League Champions Shannon and newly crowned AIB Cup Champions Cork Constitution.
Cork club Dolphin will also have a keen interest in the game as the lively half-back pairing of Sam Cronin and Barry Keeshan will anchor the side and they are joined in the starting XV by club-mates Barry O'Mahony and Eric Maloney with Christy Condon on the bench. Scrum-half Cronin has also been handed the Captain's armband for the match.
Up front Shannon's Mike Essex will be joined by Cork Con's Martin Gately and Simon Shawe of Ballymena, one of only four players from outside Division 1A. Old Belvedere's Richie Leyden is on the flank with John Cleary of Galwegians on the right wing, while UCC's Sean Scanlon will provide cover for full-back from the bench.
All told there are twelve clubs represented in the AIB Club International side - Ballymena, Blackrock, Clontarf, Cork Constitution, Dolphin, Galwegians, Old Belvedere, St. Mary's College, Shannon, UCC and UL Bohemians.
AIB Club International Team & Replacements (V England Counties, Stourbridge RFC, West Midlands, February 26th, 19:30)
15 - Daragh O'Shea (Clontarf RFC)
14 - John Cleary (Galwegians RFC)
13 - Eric Moloney (Dolphin RFC)
12 - Evan Ryan (Cork Constitution RC)
11 - Stephen Kelly (Shannon RFC)
10 - Barry Keeshan (Dolphin RFC)
9 - Sam Cronin (Dolphin RFC) Captain
1 - Martin Gately (Cork Constitution FC)
2 - Michael Essex (Shannon RFC)
3 - Simon Shawe (Ballymena RFC)
4 - Paul Huntly (Blackrock College RFC)
5 - Fergal Walsh (Shannon RFC)
6 - Richard Leyden (Old Belvedere RFC)
7 - Barry O'Mahony (Dolphin RFC)
8 - Frank Cogan (Cork Constitution FC)
16 - Aaron Dundon (Clontarf RFC)
17 - Christy Condon (Dolphin RFC)
18 - Simon Crawford (Clontarf RFC)
19 - Hugh Hogan (St. Mary's College RFC)
20 - Cathal Sheridan (UL Bohemians RFC)
21 - Darragh Fitzpatrick (Blackrock College RFC)
22 - Sean Scanlon (University College Cork RFC)