The Leinster and Munster ‘A’ teams will kick off a huge weekend of rugby when they meet in a much-anticipated British & Irish Cup semi-final at the RDS on Good Friday (kick-off 6pm).
Ireland, England and Wales are represented in this year’s British & Irish Cup semi-finals, with competition newcomers Cross Keys flying the flag for Wales against English outfit Cornish Pirates, while Leinster ‘A’ and Munster ‘A’ kick off the weekend with an all-Irish tie.
Friday evening’s clash sees the ‘A’ sides of the Irish provinces meet for only the sixth time at this level of rugby.
Munster ‘A’ marginally have the better head-to-head record over the last decade with three wins to two, including victory in the last encounter – 19-7 at Donnybrook in September 2010.
Gates at the RDS will open at 4.30pm on Friday. There will be free entry for Leinster Season Ticket holders upon presentation of this year’s membership card.
Tickets for the interprovincial derby are on sale online here. Supporters can avail of a discount for tickets purchased online.
The ticket prices are as follows: Adult: €;10 (€;9 online), Schoolchildren: €;5 (€;4 online), Season Ticket Holders: free.
Munster ‘A’ have only been beaten once in seven outings this season, their only defeat coming against Cornish Pirates (10-6 in November).
Leinster ‘A’ are bidding for a first ever appearance in the final having progressed to this stage with a comprehensive 32-0 home win against Pontypridd in the quarter-finals.
A second final appearance in three years awaits the Pirates if they can get past Cross Keys in Saturday’s semi-final at Pandy Park.
Cornish Pirates are the only team in the line-up to have won all four of their pool matches, securing their path to the semi-finals with a win over fellow English Championship contenders Nottingham.
But Cross Keys have impressed in their first season, finishing top of Pool 2 just one point ahead of Munster ‘A’ before victory against Welsh Premiership rivals Llanelli saw them through to the last-four.
The Pirates go into the fixture having won back-to-back games against Rotherham in the Championship play-offs, while Cross Keys have lost two of their last three games in the Welsh Premiership to sit fifth in the table.
2011/12 BRITISH & IRISH CUP SEMI-FINALS:
Friday, April 6 –
LEINSTER ‘A’ v MUNSTER ‘A’, the RDS, 6pm
Saturday, April 7 –
Cross Keys v Cornish Pirates, Pandy Park, 3pm
* The winner of semi-final 1 will host the winners of semi-final 2, meaning that for the first time in the competition’s history, an Irish team will stage the British & Irish Cup final (Saturday, April 28).