FANS OF THE Ulster Bank League who are not able to get along to Thomond Park on Friday will be able to watch a live stream of the opener between Shannon and Young Munster.
The match between the Munster rivals is one of three ‘Friday Night Light’ fixtures kicking off the UBL season and can be viewed on www.irishrugby.ie.
Former Munster and Ireland back-row Alan Quinlan, who represented Shannon in club rugby, will join the Irish Rugby TV commentary team for the 7.30pm game.
Young Munster and Shannon captains, Hugh McGrath and Duncan Casey, are excited at the prospect of the match being held under the floodlights at Thomond. McGrath said:
We’ve gone through a bit of a rebuilding process over the pre-season but it has gone well. No better way to start the season than a local derby against Shannon.
“Both games were really close last season so there is going to be fireworks on Friday.”
McGrath revealed that the club rugby, like many sports across Ireland, has been affected by the emigration of talented, young men and women.
“There will be a few guys in Australia and America watching it. I’m sure they’ll make an occasion of it and gather a few friends around to watch the lads back home.”
Duncan Casey of Shannon Rugby and Young Munster’s Hugh McGrath with Cian McInerney and Keith Darcy of Ulster Bank. (©INPHO/Dan Sheridan)
Other UBL fixtures
The other matches taking place on Friday night include Garryowen’s home clash with Dolphin. Up at Anglesea Road in Dublin, Old Belvedere play host to Lansdowne.
Reigning champions St Mary’s College begin the defence of their UBL title by welcoming U.L Bohemians to Templeville Road on Saturday from 2.30pm.
Cork Constitution round off the action with a home fixture against Clontarf, the team that narrowly missed out on top spot last season.
The league is encouraging rugby supporters to follow the action on Twitter by searching #UBL.