The first ever finalists in the British & Irish Cup, Munster ‘A’ and Cornish Pirates, will meet in this weekend’s round of the competition which sees the belated introduction of the three Irish, six Welsh and three Scottish sides.
Having enjoyed two rounds of all-English affairs, cross-border rivalry is now added to the tournament’s mix and Munster ‘A’ will not need any motivation ahead of the visit of Cornish Pirates, who claimed the first title at their expense in 2010.
The Pirates have started this season’s competition in fine fettle, claiming bonus point wins in both their opening fixtures to sit proudly on top of Pool 1.
The only other game on Friday night sees a quick return to his native Ulster for Doncaster’s summer signing David McIlwaine.
The full-back, who appeared in the Heineken Cup for Brian McLaughlin’s men last season, has been in sensational form for the Knights in the Championship.
All seven of Saturday’s British & Irish Cup ties are cross-border affairs with Leinster ‘A’ visiting an Esher side that has won one and lost one of their pool games to date.
On the sam day Cross Keys entertain Moseley at Pandy Park, and fellow cup newcomers, London Scottish, take a trip in the other direction to tackle Llanelli.
Aberavon, who sit proudly on top of the Welsh Premiership, are at London Welsh, Plymouth take on Ayr at Brickfields and there is a first ever meeting between Swansea and Rotherham at St. Helen’s.
On Sunday, holders Bristol welcome Neath to the Memorial Stadium, Leeds are at home to Currie and Nottingham, who boast two wins from two to top Pool 6, take on 2011 semi-finalists Pontypridd.
BRITISH & IRISH CUP FIXTURES:
Friday, November 11 –
MUNSTER ‘A’ v Cornish Pirates, Clonmel RFC, 7pm
ULSTER RAVENS v Doncaster, Deramore Park, 7.30pm
Saturday, November 12 –
Esher v LEINSTER ‘A’, Pillar Data Arena, 3pm
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