There will be a northerly invasion of 'Pirates' on Saturday when Buccaneers take on Ballynahinch in the Division 1A promotion/relegation play-off at Ballymacarn Park (kick-off 2.30pm).
The Buccaneers squad greatly appreciated the support at Terenure College recently, particularly by the Women's team. Now for this most important game of the season, the Athlone club are urging supporters to get mobilised!
Supporters' buses have been organised for the trip to the scenic County Down foothills for this battle of battles, and those intending to travel by bus need to give their names to club administrator Geraldine. Text her at 0861732711 or email firstname.lastname@example.org as early as possible to book.
Adult fare will not exceed €15 for the trip, which departs Dubarry Park at 9.15am on Saturday. That should give sufficient time for a 'pit stop' en-route and also ensure that supporters arrive early to be part of the big pre-match build-up.
With so much at stake, a full-blooded encounter is anticipated. Both teams finished their respective campaigns strongly with 'Hinch securing three bonus point victories that helped them avoid automatic relegation from the top flight.
Meanwhile, Buccs were also firing on all cylinders when winning six games in a row to overhaul both Corinthians and UL Bohemians in the run-in and thus earn the play-off spot.
Ballynahinch are doughty battlers, particularly on their own elevated grounds on the slopes of Slieve Croob. You can almost surely bet on it being breezy at this exposed venue.
Derek Suffern's side gained promotion last season but struggled to get any real momentum until that late sequence of victories staved off relegation.
The 'Hinch pack is bulky and thrives on mauling play. Loosehead prop Kyle McCall is a key operator here as is the seasoned Chris Stevenson.
Lock Ken Morton and number 8 Michael Graham are their chief lineout targets, while the work on the ground of flanker Paul Pritchard in turning over possession must be negated by the visiting Pirates.
Full-back Rodger McBurney is a strong runner, while winger David McIlwaine also has a penchant for scoring tries. Livewire scrum half Aaron Cairns chases everything so is an all-round danger.
Harry McAleese is likely to be his half-back partner although Richie Lobb will vie for this position. Stuart Morrow skippers the side but the centre is an injury worry for the hosts.
Meanwhile, Buccaneers should be able to select from a full strength squad as the talismanic Kolo Kiripati and dynamic Luke Satchwell look like being fit for this most important game of a long season.
James Tormey too should be fully recovered from the injury sustained at Terenure College. With Daniel Qualter, Conor Kindregan and Mata Fifita in the frame, head coach Tony Dolan has strength and experience to select from in this section of the pack where Evan Galvin, Sam McCormack, Ruairi Byrne, Josh O'Rourke and possibly Cian Romaine could also be involved.
Martin Staunton will surely return to form a competitive and able front row with Garreth Halligan and Diarmuid Higgins.Jacob Walshe and Bryan Teape are also promising options here.
Scrum half Mark Dolan is another player sure to return. He was rested as a precaution against Terenure and his endeavours throughout the season earned him the Connacht Senior Club Player of the Year award last weekend.
His half-back partner Jack Carty was another winner at the province's annual awards event, being named the Connacht Academy Player of the Year.
This talented duo know each other inside out and can be the fulcrum to a Buccaneers victory on Saturday if they dictate the tempo and territory of the game.
Conor Finn has been in exemplary form of late in the centre alongside canny captain Alex Hayman.
Callum Boland, Shane Layden, Billy Henshaw and Eoghan O'Reilly will all ask questions of 'Hinch when in possession, while Ger O'Connor (who acquitted himself well in recent outings) and Tiernan O'Halloran are others who could be unleashed in an attack-minded back-line.
Despite some testing conditions around the country, the final round of Ulster Bank League action before Christmas produced an avalanche of scores.. Armagh lead Division 2B thanks to their superb nine-match winning streak over the first half of the season, while Lansdowne, Buccaneers, Nenagh Ormond and Rainey Old Boys are the other table toppers.
The sun shone on Co. Carlow Rugby Club last Sunday as the Aviva Mini Rugby Festival rolled into town. It was a chance for the hundreds of boys and girls to enjoy a day of fantastic rugby and to tell us who their favourite rugby players are.
The Aviva Mini Rugby Festival visited UL Bohemians last Saturday and it was fun-filled day for the hundreds of boys and girls taking part. There was also a special guest appearance from Ireland Women's captain and UL Bohs favourite Niamh Briggs.
Maeve McMahon, Director of Customer Experience and Products, Ulster Bank, talks about another successful Ulster Bank League Awards night which saw 14 individual awards presented to players, coaches and PROs from across the island.
Cork Constitution lock Conor Kindregan was voted the Ulster Bank League Division 1A Player of the Year, picking up the honour from Joe Schmidt at this week's Ulster Bank League Awards in the Aviva Stadium.
Ahead of the the Ulster Bank League Division 1A final, we spoke to Blayney Russell of Clontarf and Peter Good of Cork Constitution about the big match and how the two clubs have fared this season at every level.
Ben Reilly wants his Clontarf side to show the kind of form that put them top of the league this season but he knows that Cork Con will offer a serious physical challenge in the Ulster Bank League final in Sunday. Tickets are available from ticketmaster.ie.
Cork Constitution captain James Ryan is aiming for a league and cup double if his side can unpick the Clontarf defence in the Ulster Bank League final at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday. We spoke to him about the road to the final and Con's momentum. Tickets for the match are available from ticketmaster.ie.
On a day that saw all four seasons in one, the girls from Sacred Heart in Tullamore made history by winning the first ever All-Ireland GX7s tournament at the Aviva Stadium. Check out some of the action from the day as 16 teams got their first taste of playing at the home of Irish Rugby.
We turn the spotlight on Young Munster as they bid to go one step further than last year and qualify for the upcoming Ulster Bank League final. Irish Rugby TV spoke to Ger Slattery and Darragh O'Sullivan ahead of Saturday's Division 1A semi-final trip to Cork Constitution.
Highlights of a very exciting day of Women's club rugby action at Anglesea Road as Shield winners Railway Union, Plate winners St. Mary's and Cup champions Galwegians all enjoyed All-Ireland title success.
Highlights from Cork Constitution's two-try 15-13 victory over dethroned Division 1A champions Lansdowne in the Ulster Bank League. The Leesiders, who are third in the table, still have a shot at a home semi-final.