The fixtures for the Energia All-Ireland League and Energia Women’s All-Ireland League have been announced. There is a strong emphasis on including more Friday Night Lights matches and increasing the number of double headers across the two competitions.
Defending Division 1A champions Cork Constitution kick off their title run at home to Garryowen, while beaten finalists Clontarf are on the road to Young Munster.
Twenty four Friday Night Lights games have been included as the popularity of floodlit fixtures grows for clubs and supporters alike.
The first of these is a Limerick derby on the opening weekend of the league as UL Bohemians host local rivals Old Crescent in Division 2A. A week later, Galway Corinthians and Galwegians face off under lights in Division 2B on October 11.
Energia Park will play host to another Friday Night Lights game on October 18 when Old Wesley face fellow south Dublin side St. Mary’s College in an eagerly-awaited clash in Division 1B.
All-Ireland League newcomers Enniscorthy and Clonmel, who were promoted from the provincial leagues, will get their campaigns underway with home ties against Midleton and Omagh in Division 2C.
In the Energia Women’s All-Ireland League, reigning champions Railway Union start their 2019/20 campaign with a trip to newly-promoted Suttonians on Saturday, October 12, while UL Bohemians, this past season’s runners-up, travel to Ulster challengers Malone.
Malone now become Ulster’s first club with Men’s and Women’s teams in the top flight of the domestic game. The Belfast club were also the winners of the Spirit of Rugby award at the 2019 All-Ireland League Awards.
Double header matches with the Men’s and Women’s sides proved popular last season and this has been included again this season with 12 games scheduled. The first of these takes place on the opening weekend of the Women’s League when Old Belvedere host Cooke and Malone entertain UL Bohs.
Speaking about the fixtures announcement, IRFU Rugby Competition Manager Kevin Beggs outlined the work that goes into the scheduling across the six divisions, saying:
We are very pleased to include more Friday Night Lights and double header games – they are popular with club members and teams alike as they meet the changing needs of our players.
“We received many requests from clubs prior to the fixtures being finalised and we have incorporated as many of those as possible.
“I’d like to thank all the clubs and the All-Ireland League committee for their work on delivering these fixtures and we look forward to an exciting Energia All-Ireland League season ahead.”
Gary Ryan, Managing Director of Energia Customer Solutions, added:
We are really looking forward to the start of the Energia All-Ireland Leagues and to working with the IRFU and the clubs to deliver future success at grassroots level.”
In addition to promotional and profile support for the All-Ireland League competitions, Energia will provide a suite of offerings that will greatly benefit clubs by reducing overheads and providing long-term sustainable power solutions:
– Club-discounted Electricity and Gas rates
– Club Sustainability Scheme: funding for energy efficiency upgrades to significantly reduce energy consumption and costs
– Club Member Switching Reward Scheme that financially benefits your club