All Ireland League Fixtures Confirmed For Next Season
22nd June 2023 By The Editor
Fixtures for the 2023/24 Energia All-Ireland League have been issued to clubs. The Women’s Division gets the action underway, starting with Rounds 1 and 2 on September 16th and September 23rd respectively. The Men’s Divisions kick off on October 7th.
In the Women’s Division Blackrock College begin the defence of their first AIL title in 15 years by welcoming near neighbours Old Belvedere to Stradbrook.
Terenure College’s first outing as Energia AIL Men’s Champions will be against Ballynahinch while City Of Armagh will play their first ever Men’s Division 1A game away at Cork Constitution.
“We’ve got to hit the ground running,” Armagh Coach Chris Parker told Irish Rugby.ie. “We’re very realistic, we know there will be some tough days. At that level in 1A we know that if we’re off by that 1% or 2% you’ll get punished, and you could get a score put on you. But that’s a challenge we have to embrace,”
Queen’s University begin life in Division 1B at home to Old Wesley while there’s a trip to Malone for newly promoted Greystones in Division 2A.
Instonians and Skerries were both promoted from Division 2C last season and they’ll be begin their Division 2B campaigns against each other in Round 1.
Clogher Valley’s first Energia All-Ireland League challenge in Division 2C is a trip to Mayo to face Ballina.
There’s a three-week block for all Divisions between October 7th and October 21st where clubs will be encouraged to build Energia AIL Fixtures into wider club events around Rugby World Cup 2023.
October 28th is the first ‘No Rugby Weekend’ for all divisions, to allow players and officials to manage their time away from rugby. It also coincides with the date of the 2023 Rugby World Cup Final and Ireland’s involvement in Round 3 of World Rugby’s inaugural WXV 3 competition.
Speaking about the release of fixtures, IRFU Competitions Manager Kevin Beggs said:
“Work on completing these fixtures commenced as soon as the curtain came down on the 2022/23 season and we’re delighted to be able to confirm fixtures for all 59 participating teams as early as June.
“We’re particularly excited to see how clubs can build events around fixtures and the big Rugby World Cup games in September and October. The professional club rugby competitions are not kicking off until later in the year so there’s a real opportunity there in the early part of the season for clubs to set out their stall and showcase just how exciting and welcoming Energia AIL rugby can be.”