While the group decider in the Rugby World Cup with France will take centre stage this weekend, there is plenty of local action with some big matches in each of the Divisional Cups.
In the Junior Clubs Challenge Cup, Clonmel will be strong favourites to retain their trophy. They have started the season impressively with two good wins and once again look the team to beat. Old Christians are given the unenviable task of travelling to South Tipperary to try to topple the Cup holders.
However, Old Christians have also made a strong start to the season themselves with the consistent Sean Meaney proving a key player so far. However, Clonmel should be too strong.
Richmond are adapting well to life back at the Junior level and take on another former Senior club; Clonakilty with the Limerick side enjoying home advantage. Richmond have started well and showed they can battle out for victory with a tight win at Galbally. They should have too much firepower against what has been a porous Clonakilty defence so far.
There is a very interesting game down in West Cork as Skibbereen host Muskerry. Both sides have had tough starts to their campaigns, although Skibb do have a win over Bandon under their belts.
With the pressure of the league off, both should look to play some expansive rugby and Muskerry will need a big showing to get back to winning ways.
The other Challenge Cup game on Sunday is a reversal of one of the opening League weekend fixtures as Newcastle West host St Mary’s.
Newcastle West won out handily in that encounter and should come out on top again.
There are two Challenge Cup matches taking place tomorrow. Bandon host St Senan’s with both sides looking to keep the momentum from last weekend’s hard-fought victories. In the other Cup match Galbally will be looking to make home advantage count against Waterpark.
There are plenty of intriguing matches in the Challenge Shield for Second Division clubs. Waterford City have made a strong start to their league campaign and their capabilities will be further tested with a tough trip to Thurles.
Presentation are one of the teams with two wins from their opening matches and will be confident of turning over Tralee while Charleville will also fancy their chances of upsetting Kinsale.
Ballincollig should prove too strong for Ennis while, after shipping a heavy defeat to Abbeyfeale, Dungarvan won’t relish the task of hosting Cobh Pirates.
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