Division Two table toppers Buccaneers will entertain a young and exciting UCC side in Sunday's semi-final clash at Dubarry Park, a full 14 years after the clubs first locked horns in All-Ireland League competition.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION TWO SEMI-FINAL: Sunday, April 13
BUCCANEERS v UCC, Dubarry Park, 2.30pm Referee: Alan Rogan (Leinster)
Previous League Meetings: 5 (Buccaneers won 1, drawn 1, UCC 3); At Dubarry Park/Moher Road: 3 (Buccaneers won 1, drawn 1, UCC won 1)
This Season: Saturday, November 17, 2007 - UCC 16 Buccaneers 3, The Mardyke
Recent League Form: Buccaneers (most recent games on left hand side): WWWWW
Buccaneers - Notes: * Buccaneers finished first in the Division Two table and were promoted. They played 15 matches in the regulation phase, won 11 and lost 4 (points difference +119)
* This is their fourth home game against Munster opposition this season. The story at home in Division Two this season is played 7, won 6 and lost 1 (the loss was against Highfield)
* They first played AIB League rugby against UCC in March 1994 - they lost 13-5 at home to them
* This weekend they will be playing their 32nd AIB League fixture at home to a Munster club and are seeking their 17th victory
* This game will go ahead on Sunday as Buccaneers are hosting the AIB Cup and AIB Junior Cup finals at Dubarry Park on Saturday
* They lost more games (4) than any of the other top four finishers in Division Two this season. They played six Munster clubs - three at home - in Division Two this season, winning three of those games and losing the other three
* Over the 15 Division Two rounds this season, they were the club that scored the most tries (41) and collected the most try-scoring bonus points (6)
* They have never previously made the Division Two play-offs - they appeared in three Division One play-offs (1998/99, 2002/03 and 2003/04), all at away venues
* They managed no victory in their first three AIB League meetings with UCC and this weekend they are playing one of the two clubs they failed to score a try against during the league's regulation phase
* They won their last seven games in Division Two this season - nine consecutive wins is the club record
Top Points Scorers In 2007/08 AIB League: Alan Gaughan 120 points, Simon Rolleston 23 points
Top Try Scorers In 2007/08 AIB League: Alan Gaughan 6 tries, Sean Carey 5 tries
UCC - Notes: * UCC finished fourth in the Division Two table. They played 15 matches in the regulation phase, won 11, drew 1 and lost 3 (points difference +101)
* This is the club's only visit to a Connacht team this season. The story on the road in Division Two this season is played 8, won 5, drew 1 and lost 2
* They have previously played eight AIB League fixtures away in Connacht and won only two of these games. They won their opening nine games in Division Two this season to establish a new club record
* They led the Division Two standings over five rounds this season and have spent the last 12 AIB League seasons in the second tier
* Over the 15 Division Two rounds this season, a total of 14 different UCC players have scored tries
* They lost 38-0 on their only previous league visit to Dubarry Park back in January 1998
* They may not be aware of the fact that there has been no away win in the Division Two play-offs over the past seven seasons
* They have previously made the Division Two play-offs in the 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05 and 2005/06 seasons - all four games were at away venues
Top Points Scorers In 2007/08 AIB League: Gavin Dunne 144 points
Top Try Scorers In 2007/08 AIB League: Peter Shallow 4 tries, Scott Deasy and Colin Crowley 3 tries each
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Buccaneers to win by more than 7 points
The Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 squads had a busy Easter period with seven matches played in Ashbourne, Cardiff, Llanelli, Caerphilly and Bordeaux. Check out some of the tries scored. Full match reports are available on www.irishrugby.ie.
Speaking to RTE Radio rugby correspondent Michael Corcoran, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt was asked about prioritising players playing in Ireland when it comes to national selection over those who are based overseas.
In an interview broadcast on RTE Radio 1's 'Sunday Sport' programme, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by the summer tour to the USA and Japan, and also looked ahead to next month's Rugby World Cup Pool Draw.
Speaking about working with the provinces and monitoring players' progress, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt told RTE Radio 1: "For us, having the best quality of performance within the provinces, getting some really good coaching from the provincial coaches, which we know is happening at the moment, that's the foundation that we need because in the end we get the players in a match week pretty much."
In an interview with RTE Radio rugby correspondent Michael Corcoran, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt confirmed that Girvan Dempsey, Felix Jones and Ronan O'Gara will be incorporated into the coaching group for the upcoming summer tour to the USA and Japan.
IRFU National Talent Development Manager Hendrik Kruger says the Easter age-grade internationals give the Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 players 'the chance to represent their country and experience international rugby' and are 'the highlight of their season'.
The Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools team (sponsored by PwC) played the England U-18 Counties side in the first of two matches at Ashbourne RFC this week. Check out the highlights from Wednesday's entertaining clash.
Four of our stadiums through the eyes of four Irish sporting legends. O'Driscoll on Aviva Stadium, Brogan on Croke Park, Matthews on Kingspan Stadium and O'Connell on Thomond Park. The world is invited #Ireland2023.
Irish Rugby TV caught up with flanker Sean O'Brien to get his reaction following Ireland's hard-earned 13-9 victory over RBS 6 Nations champions England. He singled out man-of-the-match Peter O'Mahony for special praise.
Peter O'Mahony reflects on what went wrong for Ireland in Cardiff and tells Irish Rugby TV that he is focusing on the squad and their work this week ahead of the final Six Nations game against England.
The Ireland squad paid a visit to Monaghan last week and held an open training session in Monaghan RFC. We spoke to Andrew Trimble after the session which was attended by over 2,000 cheering supporters.