From now until next May2004, 48 clubs from over Ireland will contest more than 360 AIB League games, culminating in the AIB League Finals day at Lansdowne Road next May.
Speaking at the launch of the AIB League Season 2003/04, John Hickey,General Manager AIB Bank stated that, "This is the seventh season of our involvement with club rugby. Our sponsorship focus has always been at a community level and the AIB League is an important element of ourinvolvement with Irish sport.
"The spread of the game to so many rural areas in recent years has made the League ever more exciting and has given it a real sense of community."
Division One champions, Ballymena open their season at home against UCD, asdo last year's defeated finalists, Clontarf who entertain Galwegians in Castle Avenue. Even though they ultimately failed at the last hurdle last year, Clontarf were undoubtedly one of the great success stories of2002-03 season, and Castle Avenue will undoubtedly continue to attract the huge crowds it did all of last season.
Meanwhile, newly promoted Dolphin will beeager to make their mark from the outset when they travel to Co.Carlow for their opening fixture.
In Division Two newly promoted Waterpark have a home fixture against Thomond, whilst other interesting fixtures on the first Saturday include DLSP against Old Belvedere and Sunday's Well against UCC.In Kildare, Barnhall will play host to Bective Rangers.
Division Three will kick off with Ards in action against Corinthians. Afterseeing off the challenges of Bruff, Kilkenny and Monivea to win the round robin and claim promotion to Division Three, Ards presence in the AIB League is an exciting time for the club.
AIB League - Division One.
Ballymena v U.C.D.Buccaneers v Belfast Harlequins.Clontarf v Galwegians.Cork Constitution v Dungannon.Co. Carlow v Dolphin.Shannon v Lansdowne.St. Mary's College v Garryowen.
AIB League Division Two.
Barnhall v Bective Rangers.
AIB League Division Three.
Ballina v Connemara.Banbridge v Greystones.City of Derry v Skerries.Clonakilty v Old Wesley.Corinthians v Ards.Instonians v Suttonians.Naas v Highfield.Portadown v Queens University