10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Thomond (Division 2A) v Highfield (Division 2B), Liam Fitzgerald Park
Preview: Thomond finished third-from-bottom in Division 2A this season with five wins, a draw and two losing bonus points leaving them on 24 points.
They finished the season with wins over Old Crescent and Corinthians after a run of losses dating back to December.
Highfield plugged away all season in Division 2B and with Banbridge and NUIM Barnhall losing on the last day, the Cork side's victory over Suttonians saw them take the relegation/promotion play-off spot.
They managed three try-scoring bonus points in the season and are a decent outfit and with eleven wins to their name can have a real ambition about promotion.
Liam Fitzgerald Park can be a tough place to go when you need a win and this could be a tight game, but an away win might just be on the cards.
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Highfield to win by 1-5 points
Ards (Division 2B) v Monivea (Provincial Qualifying League), Hamilton Park
Preview: It was nip and tuck between Ards and Wanderers at the end of the season, but in the end the Ulster side's wins over Boyne and Navan saw them finish two points ahead and stave off automatic relegation.
Four wins and a draw was their tally for the season and they shipped over 400 points with defensive frailities letting them down.
Monivea won the Connacht Junior League with 12 wins in 14 games to earn their place in the Provincial Qualifying Round Robin series.
The Galway outfit only managed one win in the Round Robin but their try-scoring bonus point and two losing bonuses saw them finish ahead of both Richmond and Clogher Valley.
The were also beaten finalists in the Ulster Bank All-Ireland Junior Cup, losing out to Tullamore in a terrific final.
Home advantage and a keen sense of survival should be enough to see Ards home and they are the form side of the two.
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Ards to win by 6-10 points
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