12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
The AIB League fixtures for the 2006/07 season have been released. The top four clubs in Division One last season will all face tough opening day matches in October.
Top flight champions Shannon will open their title defence with a tough away trip to Ballymena, whose new coach is South African Jacques Benade, as they attempt to make it four-in-a-row. Should the Limerick giants be successful next season it will be their ninth AIB League title and their second four-in-a-row, following their successes in the mid 1990s.
But there are plenty of sides who will be looking to put an end to Shannon's recent dominance. None more so than beaten finalists Clontarf who open their account with a trip to Cork Constitution, whom they beat 26-6 in last year's semi-finals.
2005/06's other semi-finalists Garryowen, who topped the table but were beaten in the last minute of their semi-final by Shannon, are away to Dungannon.
Terenure College, Division Two's top club from last season, face a tough opener away to UL Bohemians.
For a full list of AIB League Division One fixtures - click here
*A number of matters are pending arising out of objections and complaints lodged by a few clubs which, when determined, will identify which of the respective clubs will be participating in Division One or Division Two of the AIB League next season.
The IRFU regrets the delay in issuing this season's fixture list and for any inconvenience caused to the AIB League clubs as a result of the delay to date arising out of the due process of law being applied.
...The Division Three trophy...
In Division Two, the newly-promoted Clonakilty will open with a local derby against UCC while beaten finalists but also newly-promoted Suttonians will be away to Cork side Midleton.
County Carlow will be at home to Highfield for their first game following relegation.
For a full list of AIB League Division Two Fixtures - click here
Newcomers Rainey Old Boys are away to Corinthians in their first game in Division Three. Having added the AIB Junior Cup to their list of titles last season, the Magherafelt club will be hoping to open the new season with a morale boosting win.
For a full list of AIB League Division Three Fixtures - click here