Leading Division 1 title contenders Richmond and Clonmel both face tough trips to promoted sides.
Clonmel head to west Cork to take on an exciting Bandon side. Conditions permitting, it should be an enthralling game. Both sides like to play a very open and entertaining style of rugby with dynamic athletic packs able to provide a platform for their skilful back-lines. The Tipperary side will be favorites and their extra bit of metal up front could prove the key difference.
However, Bandon won’t be a soft touch. They have impressed in their first season back in the top flight. Kieran Essex has been outstanding in the pack while the visitors will also need to keep a close eye on scrum-half Richard Walsh.
Leaders Richmond make the short journey to take on Clanwilliam. The Limerick side will hope that their powerful pack can dictate the tempo of the game and Gearoid Phelan will be key in the breakdown battle.
Clanwilliam have acquitted themselves well but are still involved in a highly-congested relegation battle and will scrap for every point they can get.
St Senan’s had a confidence-boosting win over Garryowen in the cup and they will want to carry that momentum into their home match against Clonakilty. Neither team is safe yet, but the West Cork side possess plenty of experience and if the hosts show any complacency they could be caught out.
Bottom side St Mary’s put in a strong showing against cup holders Shannon and they will need another massive performance as they host a Kilfeacle side who have been in good form.
Gallbally are safe from the drop-zone and will seek to push for a top four finish. They travel to Waterpark in what should be a very tight tough encounter.
After a bad league run Old Christians got a morale-boosting win over Sunday’s Well and face an important relegation battle with Skibbereen.
A win for Newcastle West at home to Muskerry should give them a bit of a cushion from the relegation battle.
It is also a big weekend in Division Two with a couple of massive games between promotion chasing sides. Presentation host Cobh Pirates with both sides only having one defeat thus far. Whoever wins will do their promotion hopes a big favour.
Thurles, buoyant after a cup win at Newcastle West, take on Kinsale. The Tipperary side’s defence will need to be on top form to restrict the talented Kinsale attack.
Abbeyfeale should maintain their place at the top despite being on the road to Newport who look to be comfortable in mid-table. At the other end of the table, the big game is the Mallow v Ennis tie which has been switched to the 4G UL pitch in Limerick.
Tralee badly need a good result against Waterford City while Charleville and Ballincollig should provide a battling encounter.
Castleisland will be pushing for maximum points at Dungarvan.