On Saturday three Munster Second Division sides are in action as well as a full Third Division program. U.C.C. face Trinity at the Mardyke (kick off 3.00) in their colours match and after their great win over Terenure in Dublin last week, the students will fancy their chances of notching up another win, that would see them move to the top of the table as the other top sides are idle this weekend.
Thomond welcome Terenure College to Fitzgerald Park where the points are vital to both sides. Thomond are currently level on points with Midleton in second last position in the table and a win would ease their relegation worries. A second defeat in a row for the Dublin side would almost end their hopes of making a quick return to the top flight. Midleton travel to Dublin to face an inform Bective Rangers side and the East Cork side despite playing well in recent games are not getting the breaks.
Bective with successive victories over three Munster sides will be hoping to add another one and move into a challenging position for promotion.
In the Third Division Highfield should continue their good run with a victory at home to Skerries. They will be hoping that Clonakilty can do them a favour by taking the points off leaders Banbridge at Rifle Park.
The opening round of the Junior Cup has produced several interesting derby ties, with the meeting of old rivals Garryowen and Shannon being the top game of the round. Shannon defeated Garryowen in the Second Round last season 12-3, but have lost both their League encounters this season. The Light Blues will start as favourites but will not have things their own way.
Cobh Pirates have home advantage against Midleton and the Junior Division One side will fancy their chances of repeating last season's County Cup Final success over their near neighbours. Highfield travel to Ballincollig in another derby tie and they will want to make amends for the defeat they suffered three seasons ago at Tanner Park. Two other derby ties should see Crosshaven getting the better of Douglas at Moneygourney and home advantage should give Waterpark the edge against Dungarvan.
Third Division Abbeyfeale face Kilfeacle at The Grove and it would be a surprise if the Tipperary side failed to book their place in the next round, where they will face the winners of the Garryowen Shannon tie.
Both Musgrave Park tenant clubs face home games against Second Division sides on the back pitches of Musgrave Park. Dolphin will have their work cut out to see off the challenge of a youthful Muskerry side, while Kanturk will fancy their chances of advancing against Sunday's Well.
Two sides that have been dominant in this competition over the last few years travel to West Cork. Holders Cork Constitution should have an easy passage against Dunmanway but U.C.C. may not have things all their own way against Bandon.
In the only all First Division tie Clonmel should repeat their league win over Old Christians earlier in the season at Rathcooney. Charleville will hope to avenge their league defeat by Skibbereen when they entertain the West Cork side.
The leaders of the Second and Third Division meet at Mallow, where the North Cork side will be anxious to repeat their success earlier in the season in the Challenge Cup. Fermoy are away to Castleisland and could cause an upset against a side that are struggling at the foot of the Second Division.
Terry Dillon brings his Youghal charges to his home town of Clonakilty, where he should see his side get the better of his old team mates. Carrick-on-Suir travel to Kinsale and will fancy their chances of repeating their recent 19-0 win in the league.
Bruff travel to Clifford Park, where they hope to win the clubs third trophy in as many weeks, when they face Young Munster in the final of the Transfield Cup.
SATURDAY 10th JANUARY
European Rugby Cup: Gloucester v Munster,Kingsholm,5.00;
AIB League Division 1: Lansdowne v Blackrock College,Lansdowne Road,2.30;
Division 2: Bective Rangers v Midleton,Donnybrook,2.30; Thomond v Terenure College,Fitzgerald Park,2.30; U.C.C. v Dublin University,Mardyke,3.00;
Division 3: Ards v Suttonians,Hamilton Park,2.30; Ballina v Wanderers,Heffernan Park,2.30; Banbridge v Clonakilty,Rifle Park,2.30; Connemara v Old Wesley,Monestry Field,2.30; Corinthians v City of Derry,Corinthian Park,2.30; Greystones v Queens University,Dr. Hickey Park,2.30; Highfield v Skerries,Woodleigh Park,2.30; Naas v Portadown,Fournaughts,2.30;
Senior Friendly: Garryowen v Old Crescent,Dooradoyle,1.30; U.L. Bohemian v Galwegians,Annacotty,2.00;
Under 20 Cup: Highfield v Muskerry,Woodleigh Park,1.30; Waterpark v Clonmel,Ballinakill,2.00;
Junior 2 Friendly: St. Senan's v Richmond,Shannon,2.30; U.L. Bohemian v Garryowen,Annacotty,12.30;
Under 20 Friendly: Ennis v St. Senan's,Ennis,2.30; Old Crescent v St. Mary's College,Rosbrien,2.30; U.C.C. v Midleton,Towns Park,12.30;
Under 18 League: Ballincollig v Muskerry,Ballincollig, 12.15; Cork Constitution v Sunday's Well,Temple Hill, 12.00; Highfield v Cobh Pirates,Woodleigh Park,11.00; Skibbereen v Bandon,Skibbereen,11.30;
Under 18 Development League: Dolphin v Clonakilty,Musgrave Park,11.00; Old Christians v Kinsale,Rathcooney,12.30;
Under 16 League: Bandon v Sunday's Well,Bandon,11.30; Cork Constitution v Clonakilty,Temple Hill,11.30; Crosshaven v Skibbereen,Crosshaven,12.30; Dolphin v Youghal,Musgrave Park,11.30; Fermoy v Old Christians,Fermoy,11.00; Highfield v Mallow,Cois Laoi,11.00; Midleton v Kanturk,Towns Park,12.00;
Under 14 League: Sunday's Well v Youghal,Musgrave Park,12.00;
SUNDAY 11th JANUARY
Munster Junior Cup: Abbeyfeale v Kilfeacle,Abbeyfeale,2.00; Ballincollig v Highfield,Ballincollig,2.00; Bandon v U.C.C.,Bandon,2.00; Castleisland v Fermoy,Castleisland,2.00; Charleville v Skibbereen,Charleville,2.00; Clonakilty v Youghal,Shannon Vale,2.00; Cobh Pirates v Midleton,Cobh,2.00; Dolphin v Muskerry,Musgrave Park,2.00; Douglas v Crosshaven,Douglas,2.00; Dunmanway v Cork Constitution,Dunmanway,2.00; Garryowen v Shannon,Dooradoyle,2.00; Kinsale v Carrick-on-Suir,Kinsale,2.00; Mallow v Tralee Mallow,2.00; Old Christians v Clonmel,Rathcooney,2.00; Sunday's Well v Kanturk,Musgrave Park,2.00; Waterpark v Dungarvan,Ballinakill,2.00;
Transfield Cup Final: Young Munster v Bruff,Clifford Park,2.30;
Cronin Cup: Presentation v Bruff,Rathuard,12.00;
Junior 3 League South Division 1: Carrigaline v Killorglin,Carrigaline,2.30; Shandon v Bandon,Whitechurch,2.30;
Gleeson Cup: Charleville v Clanwilliam,Charleville,12.00;
Casey Cup: Waterford City v Youghal,Waterford,2.30;
Junior Friendly: Nenagh Ormond v Cashel,Nenagh,2.30; St. Senan's v Newcastle West,Shannon,2.30; Thomond v Richmond,Fitzgerald Park,2.30; U.L. Bohemian v Thurles,Annacotty,2.30;
Junior 2 Friendly: Abbeyfeale v Kilfeacle,Abbeyfeale,1.00; Nenagh Ormond v Cashel,Nenagh,1.00; Old Christians v Dolphin,Rathcooney,12.00;
Junior 3 Friendly: Cork Transport v Cobh Pirates,Cobh,11.30; Fermoy v Clonmel,Fermoy,12.00; Muskerry v Kanturk,Muskerry,11.30;
Under 20 Friendly: Young Munster v Thomond,Derryknockane,12.00;
Under 18 League: Galablly v Nenagh Ormond,Galablly,11.30 Newcastle West v Newport,Newcastle West,12.00; Thurles v Cashel,Thurles,11.30
Under 16 League: Ennis v Bruff,Ennis,12.30 Garryowen v Thomond,Dooradoyle,11.30 Old Crescent v St. Senan's,Rosbrien,11.30 Shannon v Newcastle West,Coonagh,11.30 Thurles v Cashel,Thurles,11.30 Young Munster v Richmond,Derryknockane,11.30
Under 13 League: Bruff v Young Munster,Bruff,12.00; Ennis v St. Mary's,Ennis,11.15; Garryowen v Old Crescent,Dooradoyle,11.30 Richmond v Newcastle West,Rosbrien,12.00; Shannon v Thomond,Coonagh,11.30