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Irish Rugby TV: All-Ireland League Division 1A Ready For Kick-Off

The top two divisions of the All-Ireland League kick off this weekend with defending champions Lansdowne on the road to Clontarf. Meanwhile, Shannon are back in Division 1A for the first time in five years.

Irish Rugby TV: All-Ireland League Division 1A Ready For Kick-Off

The top two divisions of the All-Ireland League kick off this weekend with defending champions Lansdowne on the road to Clontarf. Meanwhile, Shannon are back in Division 1A for the first time in five years.

At the launch of the league in the Aviva Stadium recently, IRFU President Ian McIlrath said: “There’s always a great sense of anticipation ahead of the league and I’m really looking forward to another exciting season in the AIL.”

Title holders Lansdowne get their campaign underway with a Friday Night Lights trip to Clontarf, the 2014 and 2016 champions. Speaking about the start of the league, Lansdowne back rower Jack O’Sullivan (pictured below) said: “First game out in Castle Avenue on Friday night is huge. They were very unlucky not to make the play-offs last season so they’ll be keen to kick off the right way.”

Clontarf v Lansdowne #AIL Friday Night Lights

Shannon are back in Division 1A for the first time in five years. Speaking about the season ahead, their centre Will Leonard commented: “We can’t wait to get back. I remember going watch Shannon when I was a young fella and they were always in the top division so it is great to get the club back to where it belongs.” 

They face the daunting trip to Temple Hill to take on the 2017 champions Cork Constitution, but Leonard is keen to get started, adding: “As a player you always want to play those difficult games so we’re looking forward to the 6th of October.”

Follow all the action from the All-Ireland League on social media using #AIL.