Corinthians, carrying the flag for Connacht in the play-off finals, could crown their promotion by lifting the AIB League Division Three title at Dooradoyle on Saturday. But their opponents Old Wesley will also have a similar aim as they look to collect a prized piece of All-Ireland rugby silverware.
2008/09 AIB LEAGUE DIVISION THREE FINAL: Saturday, May 9
CORINTHIANS v OLD WESLEY, Dooradoyle, 12pm
Preview/Team News: Two clubs who have had seasons to remember. They both struck up consistent runs, Corinthians over a long period and thus top spot in the table went to the Galway city club.
But Wesley, who came with a superbly-timed run in the league’s final weeks, will be keen to win this All-Ireland crown.
They have never won the Division Three title before and although their 16-11 defeat of Corinthians back in round four will have little bearing, it could give them a psychological edge.
The Philip Hosie-captained Dubliners went through the league unbeaten at home, winning all eight of their matches at Donnybrook.
Their away form has not been so good, but their coaching staff, headed by player-coach Dan van Zyl, will have their players determined to finish the season on a high.
With their main aim of promotion, after 13 seasons in Division Three, secured, Corinthians won the Connacht Senior Cup final with a runaway win over Connemara last week.
Coached by Leon Jordaan, Richie Evans and director of rugby Bernie Kelly, the westerners play an attractive brand of rugby, boast a couple of flyers in their back-line and have a pack that has been rarely bettered this year.
In team news, Old Wesley will take to the pitch without their AIB Club international-capped second row Marc Warburton, who is battling an injury.
IrishRugby.ie: Corinthians to win by less than 7 points
CORINTHIANS: R Ferguson; R Forbes, W Williams, C Begley, J Buckley; D Clarke, M Roche; P McCreanor, J Merrigan, D Small, G Ward, S Murphy, P Cunningham (capt), T Linnane, B McCann.
OLD WESLEY: A Large; A Thompson, B Hastings, B McLaughlin, R Thompson; D Smith, P Campbell; I Wallace, J Kerins, R Dempsey, P Hosie (capt), J Carroll, C McClean, R Gleeson, C Wallace.
Referee: Simon McDowell (IRFU)
Match Odds (Paddy Power): Corinthians to win: 8/13; Draw: 20/1; Old Wesley to win: 5/4
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