DIVISION TWO 2006 / 07 Clubs : Leinster b 8, Munster b 7, Ulster b 1, Connacht b 0 Div. Two League Finishing Position Season (s) Seasons Fixtures 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 of note in Div. Two in 2006/07 BARNHALL 5th 8th 17th 11th 3rd in Div Two 01/02 6th 7 homes / 8 aways Pres: Liam Coleman Capt. : Eoin Burke Coaches: Ian Morgan, Mike Brewer (NZ), Denis Bowes Top Scorers in 2005 / 06 : Points b Eoin Hogan ( 80) Tries b George Miller (6), Riaan Erasmus ( 6 ) Notes: Eoin Burke, whose eleventh hour drop goal in the final match last season kept Barnhall safe in Division Two, is captain for the fourth time at Parsonstown. The loss of Aidan Hughes to Terenure, Ronan Dillon to Clontarf and particularly Brendan Burke ( 49 AIBL tries ) to Rotherham is going to be felt in Co. Kldare where Luke Doddrell ( NZ ) is the only recruit of note. Former Leinster U20 coach Ian b.Moggieb Morgan, assisted by Mike Brewer ( NZ ), begins his eleventh AIBL season as Director of Coaching while Eddie Fitzgerald continues to keep an eye on affairs as Director of Rugby. The Blue Bulls must travel three times to the Cork region in the coming seven months. Div. Two League Finishing Position Season (s) Seasons Fixtures 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 of note in Div. Two in 2006/07 BECTIVE R. 13th 5th 7th 5th 3rd in Div Two 96/97 12th 7 homes / 8 aways Pres: Mark McParland Capt. : Damian Hall Coaches: Owen Finegan ( AUS ), Fergal Campion Top Scorers in 2005 / 06 : Points b Fergal Campion (115) Tries b Paul Hatton (3), James Hardy (3) Notes: Bective prepared for their 125th season with a pre-season tour to Argentina. All has not been well on the playing field since their return. The retirement of talismatic kicker Fergal Campion (during last season he became the fifth player to top 1000 AIBL career points ) has not helped. Simon Mitchell from Trinity and Pat Noble from Galwegians have been enlisted to kick the points this season. Campion continues to be involved as backs coach while Aussie Owen Finegan, a current Leinster player, is in the head coach position. The Rangers will play five games at home to Leinster clubs and travel five times to Munster this coming season. Div. Two League Finishing Position Season (s) Seasons Fixtures 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 of note in Div. Two in 2006/07 CLONAKILTY 9th 9th 2nd 1st Div. Three Champs 05/06 1st 7 homes / 8 aways Pres: Pat Hogan Capt. : Eoin Scannell Coaches: Terry Dillon, Declan Coppinger Top Scorers in 2005 / 06 : Points b George Cribb (120) Tries b Noel ObSullivan (17), Derek Dillon (9) Notes: At the end of their fifth season in the AIBL the club had a great day out at Lansdowne Road last May when they won the Division Three Championship. President Kevin Dillon stands down but his five sons are all still involved. One of them Terry assumes the coaching mantle. The club with six sets of brothers in the 1st XV squad hopes to more than hold its own in the second tier this season and early results would appear to back up this aspiration. Winger Noel ObSullivan has scored 23 tries in the last two AIBL seasons. Watch him. b.Clonb did fine in the fixtures handout with six homes to Leinster clubs, no away in Ulster and five AIBL games on the road in Munster. Div. Two League Finishing Position Season (s) Seasons Fixtures 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 of note in Div. Two in 2006/07 Co. CARLOW 13th 8th 13th 16th Five seasons in Div. One 2nd 8 homes / 7 aways Pres: James Murphy Capt. : Billy Murphy Coaches: David Hodge ( NZ ) Top Scorers in 2005 / 06 : Points b Greg Jacob ( 93 ) Tries b Ross Jackson ( 4 ) Notes: Co. Carlow re-appear in Division Two this season after five seasons in the top tier. Centre Thomas Bonnefoy, and wing Ross Jackson have departed to St. Marys and Buccaneers respectively but top try scorer Mark Buckley has re-enlisted. Reuben Colquhoun ( NZ ) is the nominated foreign player this season. Two unrelated Murphys, James and Billy who gets married this week are in office as president and captain. The Barrowsiders have lost their last 16 AIBL matches and know that it will be an uphill battle to reverse this trend during the coming season. Co. Carlow must travel twice to Limerick, once to Cork and once to Belfast this season. Div. Two League Finishing Position Season (s) Seasons Fixtures 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 of note in Div. Two in 2006/07 DLSP 3rd 6th 5th 6th Three seasons 99 b 02 in Div. One 8th 8 homes / 7 aways Pres: Turlough ObBrien Capt. : Jason Jones ( NZ ) Coach: Simon Broughton (NZ) Top Scorers in 2005 / 06 : Points b Conor Hickey ( 71), Phil de Barra (66 ) Tries b Andy Munn (6) Notes: After four seasons holding the coaching rudder at Kilternan, Joe Parkes has thrown in his lot with Cill Dara this season. Simon Broughton ( NZ ), one of the Ireland Womensb team coaches at the recent World Cup in Canada, is now the man in charge at DLSP. Turlough ObBrien, whose playing career was with junior club Railway Union, is president while kiwi Jason Jones takes over from Keith Taite as captain. b.Salmob spent three seasons in Division One at the turn of the century but they were the days when they had a much larger playing membership. Two trips to Co. Cork and one trip to Belfast are on the menu this season. Div. Two League Finishing Position Season (s) Seasons Fixtures 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 of note in Div. Two in 2006/07 D. UNIVERSITY - - 12th 15th 04/05, 05/06 in Div. One 3rd 8 homes / 7 aways Pres: David Duffy Capt. : Brian Hastings Coaches: Tony Smeeth (ENG), Hugh McGuire Top Scorers in 2005 / 06 : Points b Jonny Watt ( 89 ) Tries b Matt Crockett (5), Martin Garvey ( 5 ) Notes: D. University, relegated into Division Two last May after two seasons in the top flight, were like UCC crippled by departures over the summer. Only last seasonbs captain Matt Crockett remains as a regular in the senior XV pack . Tony Smeeth, assistant coach to the American Eagles in the Churchill Cup last June, is coach-in-charge for the ninth season and has as his captain Brian Hastings from Roscrea, Co. Tipperary. Andrew King has recently been recruited from USA Rugby. Trinity have looked to their recently successful U-20 sides so far this season and actually qualified for the Leinster Senior Cup quarter-finals only to opt for a short training tour to the USA instead. Two trips to Limerick and a visit to UCC are on their AIBL agenda this season. Div. Two League Finishing Position Season (s) Seasons Fixtures 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 of note in Div. Two in 2006/07 GREYSTONES 16th -- -- 9th Two seasons ( 92 b 94 )in Div One 12th 8 homes / 7 aways Pres:Frank Doherty Capt. : Neil Megannety Coaches: Colin McEntee, Kurt McQuilkin (NZ),Heinrik Kruger (SA) Top Scorers in 2005 / 06 : Points b Warren Edwards (105) Tries b David McKechnie (11), Stuart ObConnell (8) Notes: Greg Lynch has moved on as coach and is replaced by a cosmopolitan team of Colin McEntee, Kurt McQuilkin ( NZ ) and Heinrik Kruger ( SA ). James Power, son of Greystones legend Pierce, is a more than useful acquisition and will be one of the kickers this season as Warren Edwards has decided to stay home in South Africa. High scoring backs, DavidMcKechnie ( 26 tries in the last two AIBL season ) and Stuart ObConnell ( 20 tries in the same period ) remain in harness. The Co. Wicklow club , one season back in Division Two, must travel three times to the Cork region this season. Div. Two League Finishing Position Season (s) Seasons Fixtures 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 of note in Div. Two in 2006/07 HIGHFIELD -- -- 16th 10th 96/97, 04/05 in Div. Two 4th 8 homes / 7 aways Pres: Kevin Fitzgerald Capt. : Dave Ryan Coaches: Steve Ford ( WAL), John ObSullivan Top Scorers in 2005 / 06 : Points b Colin Mahony (146) Tries b Paul Matson (6) Notes: Welshman Steve Ford begins his fifth season as AIBL player-coach at Highfield and is now assisted by John ObSullivan from Cobh Pirates. Former Ireland scrum half and Leinster centenarian Brian ObMeara has been a major capture while two other newcomers, Ronan ObDonovan and Morgan, brother of Ronan ObGara, should prove their worth. A certain Fijian No 6 is also raising eyebrows at the club. Now in their third consecutive season in AIBL Two, the Cork City club are very efficient at maximising their returns from the bonus points system. Early season form is excellent but four long trips to Leinster, two of them in December, will be the litmus test for the Bishopstown outfit this season. Ralph Murphy from the club is president of the Munster Branch this season.
Div. Two League Finishing Position Season (s) Seasons Fixtures 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 of note in Div. Two in 2006/07 MALONE 9th 11th 12th 14th 90 / 91 in Div. One 15th 8 homes / 7 aways Pres: Dr. John Neary Capt. : Johnny Murray / Darren Barbour Coaches: Andy Dougan, Rhys Botha ( SA ) Top Scorers in 2005 / 06 : Points b Phil Coulter (65) Tries b John Amos ( 5 ) Notes: This is Malonebs 15th season in Div. Two b no club has spent longer in the division. Again, Malone have opted for two captains, one is club captain the other the first XV captain. . After the departure of their coach Steph Nel back home to South Africa, Ballymena went into the market place and enticed Jacques Benade ( also SA )away from Malone. The Cregagh Red Sox were fortunate to locate Andy Dougan as replacement coach. He arrives from Armagh with very good credentials. Malone have lost a few players, Chris Henry and Jonny Burgess to Ballymena. Michael Stokes to Dungannon and Simon Cahill to Portadown, but will continue to fly the Ulster flag alone in the second division this season. The club must undertake three long journeys to Co. Cork over the next seven months. Div. Two League Finishing Position Season (s) Seasons Fixtures 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 of note in Div. Two in 2006/07 MIDLETON 12th 13th 13th 7th 9th Div. Two 00/01 7th 7 homes / 8 aways Pres: William Tait, snr. Capt. : Patrick Cullinane Coaches: David Corkery Top Scorers in 20045/ 06 : Points b Jeff Hitchmough (110) Tries b Jason Holland ( 4) Notes: Munster centenarian and player coach Jason Holland has returned to New Zealand and is replaced as coach by former Ireland flanker ( 27 caps ) David Corkery. Big early season scalps in the shape of Cork Con and Dolphin have already been taken. Castlelake Construction have been good club sponsors and Tyrone Taiepa ( in from Skibbereen ) is turning out to be a most useful acquisition. Midleton this season will play in Division Two for the seventh successive season. Five homes to Leinster clubs and no trip to Ulster are the east Corkbs lot in this seasonbs fixture lottery. Div. Two League Finishing Position Season (s) Seasons Fixtures 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 of note in Div. Two in 2006/07 O. BELVEDERE 10th 4th 14th 12th Three seasons (95 b 98) in Div. One 11th 8 homes / 7 aways Pres: Mark Feely Capt.: Scott Hutton ( SCO) Coaches: Mike ObDonovan (NZ), Richie Murphy, Warren ObKelly Top Scorers in 2005 / 06 : Points b Richie Murphy (177) Tries b Richie Leyden (4), Rory Keane (4) Notes: After three seasons in Division One some time back , Old Belvedere this season play for the ninth consecutive time in Division Two. Eleven new signings have been registered by the club including Andy Dunne ( returns from Bath ), Conor Davis ( formerly of UCD ) and prop Marcin Wilczut who has 29 caps for Poland. Again the AIBL season will involve around Richie Murphy who at some stage during the campaign should overake Dolphinbs John ObMahony and become top all-time points scorer in the All Ireland League. Former club captain Mark Feely is in the presidential chair while Scott Hutton from Glasgow, a Rangers supporter would you believe, captains the senior side. b.Belvob will go well in the months ahead but must travel three times to the Cork region and twice to Limerick to prove their mettle. Div. Two League Finishing Position Season (s) Seasons Fixtures 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 of note in Div. Two in 2006/07 O. CRESCENT 2nd 7th 6th 8th Three seasons in Div. One 12th 7 homes / 8 aways Pres: Frank Larkin Capt.: Brendan Guilfoyle Coaches: Mark Ring ( WAL), Dean Parsons ( WAL) Top Scorers in 2005 / 06 : Points b Brian Begley (58) Tries b Niall ObBrien (9) Notes: Having performed in Division One on three previous occasions, Old Crescent are making a big push to re-join the elite at the end of this season. Former Welsh centre, Mark Ring, has been brought in as head coach and has organised open days to recruit players. Ten newcomers were registered. Martin Cahill, the former Connacht and Munster prop has joined from Buccaneers to replace Eugene McGovern now on Garryowenbs books. Alan Purcell and John Lillis, both fine kickers, have enlisted from Garryowen and Midleton respectively. Second row Steve Brennan has joined from Randwick in Australia. Flying wing Niall ObBrien (24 tries in the past two AIBL seasons), has already got among the touchdowns this season. Crescent have a grand itinerary this season but must travel to Belfast and Dublin for two of their last three games. Div. Two League Finishing Position Season (s) Seasons Fixtures 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 of note in Div. Two in 2006/07 SUTTONIANS 12th 13th 4th 2nd Div. Three S-F 04/05 1st 8 homes / 7 aways Pres: Jimmy Quill Capt. : Dave Walsh Coaches: Robert Forbes, John Tainui (NZ), Darragh Dowling Top Scorers in 2005 / 06 : Points b Paddy Maguire (104) Tries b Daire Higgins (10), John Tainui ( 9 ) Notes: After ten seasons, Suttonians have eventually made it into Division Two. Nearly all of the side that reached the Division Three Championship final last season are available again and Joe Van der Westhuizen has joined at scrum half from South Africa. Former captain Darragh Dowling joins Robert Forbes and John Tainui on the coaching ticket. Club stalwart Jimmy Quill is elevated to the presidency after many years hard work. Suttonians must travel five times to Munster ( not a happy hunting ground for them ) but have five homes to Leinster clubs this season. Div. Two League Finishing Position Season (s) Seasons Fixtures 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 of note in Div. Two in 2006/07 THOMOND 7th 12th 11th 13th Won Div. Three 00/01 6th 8 homes / 7 aways Pres: Dinny King Capt. : Tom Clifford Coach: Martin Ryan Top Scorers in 2005 / 06 : Points b John Cusack (108) Tries b David Guerin ( 5 ) Notes: Ms. Hillary Dillon steps down after two seasons as president and now assumes the role of hon. secretary, a position recently vacated by her son Barry. Thomond will again rely mostly on local talent for this their sixth consecutive season in the second division. Martin Ryan undertakes his seventh season as coach and local legend Aidan ObHalloran comes on board at U-20 level. Schools international centre Keith Earls plays at the club this season and much is expected of him. Thomond are able to kick start their AIBL season with three games in Limerick. It is interesting to note that Thomondbs AIBL record currently stands at Played b 102, Won b 48, Draw b 6, Lost b 48. Div. Two League Finishing Position Season (s) Seasons Fixtures 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 of note in Div. Two in 2006/07 UCC 4th 3rd 3rd 4th Last for Div. Two S-Fs 11th 7 homes / 8 aways Pres: Vivian Nathan Capt. : Billy Holland Coaches: Ultan ObCallaghan, Phil Rees ( WAL ) Top Scorers in 2005 / 06 : Points b Evan Cusack (54) Tries b Denis Hurley (9) Notes: Another mass exodus of players from the Mardyke club. Only Jeremy Manning and Darragh Hurley of note have remained behind. Maybe if the student club had made it into Division One, the recent player drain would not have happened. The UCC senior side gets younger by the year. Dual provincial player, Ultan ObCallaghan, older brother of Donncha, is head coach this season while Billy Holland, a son of Munster manager Jerry, has been elected captain. Starting their eleventh seasons in Division Two, UCC have reached the semi-final stages in each of the last four seasons. Div. Two League Finishing Position Season (s) Seasons Fixtures 02/03 03/04 04/05 05/06 of note in Div. Two in 2006/07 Y. MUNSTER 11th 15th 10th 3rd Div. One Champs 92/93 6th 8 homes / 7 aways Pres: John McLoughlin Capt. : Darragh Payne Coach: Tony Grant Top Scorers in 2005 / 06 : Points b Mark Connolly (92) Tries b Derek Corcoran (7) Notes: After an off-season of much activity away from the playing fields, Young Munster can now look forward to their fifth consecutive campaign in Division Two. Second row Darragh Payne is the new captain while Tony Grant coaches the senior side for the tenth time. Centre Darren Classens ( SA ) has enlisted from Galwegians while 6b 7b? second row Vincent Procter has joined from Taranaki in New Zealand. Young Munster must travel five times to Leinster and play five games at home to Munster clubs this season. Because of clashes with Heineken Cup games, three Sunday dates have been arrranged.
Ireland captain Rory Best and forwards coach Simon Easterby spoke to the media at the Captain's Run press conference in Paris earlier today, ahead of Ireland's RBS 6 Nations clash with France on Saturday.
Looking forward to locking horns with France, Conor Murray said: "I know with the type of players and type of game Guy Noves likes to play, they can throw up anything. We've got to be ready for any style of game, an offloading game, a free-flowing game."
Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby chats about sharing the defence coaching duties, Sean O'Brien (tight hamstring) sitting out Wednesday's training session and also talks about the strength of the Welsh back row.
Andrew Trimble talks about coming back from injury to make Ireland's RBS 6 Nations squad and dealing with the excitement and nervousness ahead of a big game like Sunday's Championship opener against Wales.
We hear from returning front rowers Adam McBurney and Conan O'Donnell, captain James Ryan and fellow newcomer Paul Kiernan as the Ireland Under-20s look forward to opening the U-20 RBS 6 Nations on Friday night against Wales at their new home of Donnybrook.
Ireland prop Tadhg Furlong spoke about the excitement of facing his first RBS 6 Nations campaign, the challenge of scrummaging against Wales and his earliest memories of the Championship - which include apple pie!