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AIB League Division Three: Club-By-Club Guide

AIB League Division Three: Club-By-Club Guide

IrishRugby.ie takes a closer look at the competing clubs in Division Three of AIB League, with the help of Irish rugby statistician Des Daly.

DIVISION THREE STATISTICAL PREVIEW:

– The provincial breakdown of clubs in Division Three this season is: Ulster 6, Munster 5 (no Limerick city club included), Leinster 3 and Connacht 2

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– No club has an alternating home and away schedule. Two clubs have three home games in succession while two clubs will play three away fixtures on the trot at some stage during the season

– Following the re-emergence of Queen’s University, Highfield and Ards, Naas return after an absence of three seasons to pursue their fifth Division Three campaign

– With six Ulster clubs involved there will be 15 Ulster derbies in Divison Three this season. Four of the competing clubs were formerly in Division One and eight entered the AIB League from junior ranks

– Due to Heineken Cup activity, five Sunday games have been scheduled. Connemara, Corinthians and Naas travel four times to Ulster, while Old Wesley and Waterpark will have four visits from Ulster clubs this season

– Old Wesley (six seasons), Instonians (five seasons), County Carlow (five seasons) and Sundays Well (one season) have all spent previous time in the first division

– Six Division Three clubs must travel twice to Connacht this season. Corinthians will be participating in Division Three for the 14th time

– The last league date in Division Three is set for Saturday, March 29, one week after Easter Saturday

2007/08 AIB LEAGUE DIVISION THREE TEAMS:

ARDS:

All-Time Ranking: 47th
2006/07 Finish: 9th in Division Three

Club President: Michael Heath, former Honorary Secretary with the club
Coach: Mervyn Tweed (fifth season) – assistants are Stan McDowell and Cois Beukes
Captain: Ajay Derwin (New Zealander) – the out-half previously played for Belfast Harlequins

Comment: Once spent seven seasons in Division Four – more seasons than any other club

2007/08 Transfers In

BANBRIDGE:

All-Time Ranking: 46th
2006/07 Finish: 8th in Division Three

Club President: Brian Clingan, the sponsorship chairman
Coach: Andre Bester (South African) (first season) – assistants are Rory Stevenson and John Nelson
Captain: Johnny Martin – an ex-Queen’s University centre

Comment: After coaching Ballymena and Belfast Harlequins, Andre Bester comes to Banbridge via Rotherham Titans

2007/08 Transfers In

BRUFF:

All-Time Ranking: 41st
2006/07 Finish: 3rd in Division Three (play-off champions)

Club President: Willie Conway, a founder member of the club in 1970
Coach: Eugene Murnane (Welsh) (second season) – his assistant is Eoin Cahill
Captain: Hooker Cathal O’Regan

Comment: They won the Division Three play-off final last season, beating Wanderers

2007/08 Transfers In

CITY OF DERRY:

All-Time Ranking: 35th
2006/07 Finish: 15th in Division Three

Club President: Robbie Dunne
Coach: Neil Stewart (first season) – he was club captain for two seasons
Captain: Bob McKillop – the lock’s second season as captain

Comment: Had to beat Armagh in a play-off last term to be included in Division Three this season

2007/08 Transfers In

CONNEMARA:

All-Time Ranking: 44th
2006/07 Finish: 13th in Division Three

Club President: Charlie Bourke, aka ‘Lord Mayo’
Coach: Henry O’Toole (second season) – his assistant is Aidan O’Halloran
Captain: Gerard Burke – the lock’s second season as captain

Comment: Their current coach was captain during their first season in the AIB League (2001/02)

2007/08 Transfers In

CORINTHIANS:

All-Time Ranking: 39th
2006/07 Finish: 11th in Division Three

Club President: Donal White – was originally club President 30 years ago
Coach: Leon Jordan (South African) (first season) – his assistant is Ricky Evans
Captain: Scrum half Ronnie Ferguson

Comment: The club, founded in 1932, is 75-years-old this season – their 14th season in Division Three

2007/08 Transfers In

COUNTY CARLOW:

All-Time Ranking: 22nd
2006/07 Finish: 15th in Division Two

Club President: Jim Nolan, former club captain
Coach: Jason Jones (Australian) (first season) – his assistant is Trevor Shirley
Captain: Billy Murphy – the out-half’s second season as captain

Comment: Have descended from Division One to Division Three in consecutive seasons

2007/08 Transfers In

INSTONIANS:

All-Time Ranking: 28th
2006/07 Finish: 4th in Division Three (beaten semi-finalists)

Club President: Brian Gallagher, the former club coach
Coach: Clem Boyd (third season) – his assistant is former Ireland out-half Niall Malone
Captain: Centre Mark Broome – the former Bangor player

Comment: Lost at the semi-final stage in last season’s Division Three play-offs

2007/08 Transfers In

MIDLETON:

All-Time Ranking: 32nd
2006/07 Finish: 16th in Division Two

Club President: Rossa Williams, the club chairman
Coach: 101-times capped Munster player Jason Holland (New Zealander) (second season) – his assistant is Tom Mulcahy
Captain: Phil Smyth – the front rower was capped by Ireland Youths

Comment: Their former coach has been enticed back from New Zealand

2007/08 Transfers In

NAAS:

All-Time Ranking: 48th
2006/07 Finish: Won the junior Round Robin series

Club President: Tom Ashe, bedrock of the club
Coaches: Andrew Melville (New Zealander) and Mark Fitzgerald
Captain: David Conneran – the flanker’s second season as captain

Comment: Returning to the AIB League after an absence of three seasons

2007/08 Transfers In

NENAGH ORMOND:

All-Time Ranking: 40th
2006/07 Finish: 5th in Division Three

Club President: Gerard O’Gorman, a major fundraiser
Coach: Noel O’Meara (second season) – assistants are Tony Gregan and Martin Brislane
Captain: Scrum half Mikey Fogarty

Comment: In their first two seasons in Division Three, they finished sixth and fifth respectively

2007/08 Transfers In

OLD WESLEY:

All-Time Ranking: 25th
2006/07 Finish: 6th in Division One

Club President: Robert Deacon, the former club PRO
Coach: Philip Rice (first season) – his assistant is Ray Walker
Captain: Ian Wallace – the prop’s second season as captain

Comment: Spent six seasons in Division One in the early to mid 1990s

2007/08 Transfers In

QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY:

All-Time Ranking: 45th
2006/07 Finish: 10th in Division Three

Club President: Stephen Elliott, an Ulster Branch representative
Coach: Former Ireland international Brian Robinson (first season) – his assistant is Robbie Moore
Captain: Ian Whitten – the centre is a former pupil of Wallace HS

Comment: Head coach guided Belfast Harlequins in their first two AIB League seasons

2007/08 Transfers In

RAINEY OLD BOYS:

All-Time Ranking: 43rd
2006/07 Finish: 7th in Division Three

Club President: Bill McGinniss CBE
Coach: Former Ireland international Willie Anderson (first season)
Captain: Neil O’Kane – the hooker’s second season as captain

Comment: The Old Boys from Magherafelt have embarked on their second season in the senior ranks

2007/08 Transfers In

SUNDAY’S WELL:

All-Time Ranking: 27th
2006/07 Finish: 14th in Division Three

Club President: Billy Keating, a Munster Branch representative
Coach: Tommy Crowe (third season) – his assistant is former Ireland international David Corkery
Captain: Lock Ian Carroll – his father was captain of the club in 1979/80

Comment: Coach David Corkery continues on his circuit of the Cork rugby clubs

2007/08 Transfers In

WATERPARK:

All-Time Ranking: 38th
2006/07 Finish: 12th in Division Three

Club President: Ms. Mailo Power, a member of the club’s executive committe
Coach: Martin Fenlon (second season) – his assistant is Maurice Logue
Captain: Lock Mark Murphy

Comment: The club’s second time to have a female president in recent seasons

2007/08 Transfers In

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