10 Dec, 10:30
The IRFU and Munster are pleased to announce that Conor Murray has signed a new two-year contract with the IRFU which will see him remain at Munster until at least June 2016.
DIVISION ONE: PLAY-OFF FINAL:
After seven seasons during which the League winners were automatically crowned champions, AIB took on the sponsorship of the All-Ireland League and the Division One play-offs were introduced at the conclusion of the 1997/98 regulation League series. Over the past nine seasons, nine clubs (three each from Munster, Leinster and Ulster) have qualified for the finals of the competition - Shannon (five times), Cork Constitution (four times), Garryowen (twice), Clontarf (twice), St. Mary's College, Lansdowne, Dungannon, Ballymena and Belfast Harlequins (all once).
DIVISION ONE: LIST OF CHAMPIONS:
SHANNON - 7 TIMES (1994/95, 95/96, 96/97, 97/98, 01/02, 03/04, 04/05)
GARRYOWEN - 2 TIMES (1991/92, 93/94)
CORK CONSTITUTION - 2 TIMES (1990/91, 98/99)
YOUNG MUNSTER - 1 TIME (1992/93), ST. MARY'S COLLEGE - 1 TIME (1999/00), DUNGANNON - 1 TIME (2000/01), BALLYMENA - 1 TIME (2002/03)
DIVISION ONE: LIST OF TABLE TOPPERS:
SHANNON - 5 SEASONS (1994/95 (with 100% record), 95/96, 96/97, 97/98, 04/05)
CORK CONSTITUTION - 4 SEASONS (1990/91, 2000/01*, 01/02*, 03/04*)
GARRYOWEN - 4 SEASONS (1991/92, 93/94, 989/99*, 05/06*)
ST. MARY'S COLLEGE - 1 SEASON (1999/00), YOUNG MUNSTER - 1 SEASON (1992/93), CLONTARF - 1 SEASON (2002/03*)
* Did not win play-off
PLAY-OFF FINALS: RECORD:
1997/98 - Shannon 15 Garryowen 9; Captains: Anthony Foley, Killian Keane; Referee: David McHugh
1998/99 - Cork Constitution 14 Garryowen 11 (aet); Captains: Philip Soden, Killian Keane; Referee: David McHugh
1999/00 - St. Mary's College 25 Lansdowne 22; Captains: Trevor Brennan, David O'Mahony; Referee: Alan Lewis
2000/01 - Dungannon 46 Cork Constitution 12; Captains: Allen Clarke and Paddy Johns, Ultan O'Callaghan); Referee: Alain Rolland
2001/02 - Shannon 21 Cork Constitution 17; Captains: David Quinlan, Ultan O'Callaghan; Referee: Alain Rolland
2002/03 - Ballymena 28 Clontarf 18; Captains: Russell Nelson, Warren O'Kelly; Referee: Alain Rolland
2003/04 - Shannon 22 Cork Constitution 16; Captains: Tom Hayes, Jerry Murray; Referee: Alan Lewis
2004/05 - Shannon 25 Belfast Harlequins 20; Captains: Tom Hayes, Jarlath Carey; Referee: Alan Lewis
...2002/03 champions Ballymena celebrate at Lansdowne Road...
DIVISION ONE CHAMPIONS: STATISTICS:
* Cork Constitution (1998/99), Dungannon (2000/01), Shannon (2001/02, 2003/04) and Ballymena (2002/03) have won the play-offs but not the corresponding League series. Note that this 'anomaly' has arisen in Division One in four of the last five seasons.
* Until last season, Shannon had not won the League series since 1997/98 - the first season the play-offs were introduced. The Limerick club have yet to lose a play-off game, winning the title on the four previous occasions that they have qualified for this stage of the competition.
* Since the play-offs were introduced, only three (Shannon (twice) and St. Mary's College) of the eight League winners have eventually been crowned champions. Cork Constitution (three times), Garryowen and Clontarf have been the clubs to lose out.
* Provincially, Munster have provided the champion club on 12 occasions - Ulster has provided the champions twice (2001 and 2003) and Leinster once (2000).
* On only two occasions - 1999/2000 and 2002/03 - over the past nine seasons have Munster failed to provide an end of season finalist.
* Clontarf have finished the League phase as a the top Leinster club in four of the past five Division One seasons.
* Three Leinster clubs (St. Mary's College, Lansdowne and Clontarf) have previously appeared in an AIB League Division One final - 2006 is the first time a Leinster club plays a Munster one in the Division One Championship final.
* Cork Constitution have won the League series three times in the last six seasons and have gone on to be the losing finalist on each occasion.
* Statistics compiled by Des Daly