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Belvo' guests for first Aviva club tie


ALL-IRELAND League previews


Lansdowne v Old Belvedere, The Aviva Stadium, tonight 7.30
THE very first club game on the main pitch at the Aviva will take place when champions Old Belvedere make the half-kilometre stroll to Lansdowne.

The old maxim "it is one thing to get to the top, quite another to stay there" has a ring of truth about it for coach Phil Werahiko and his Belvo' players. Last season, the Black & Whites made their intentions clear by winning six out of their first seven matches. American Jason Risden and Kiwi Leo Auva'a were at the fulcrum of their game plan.

Auva'a caught the eye of the Leinster organisation and he has been busy making his presence felt in the PRO12 League, while Risden has moved away from the club.

Hence, Belvo' find themselves nearer the bottom than the top of the division because of two losing bonus points with only Richie Layden left of the original back row.

At least Lansdowne have claimed one win out of their two matches, eking out a 23-19 victory at St Mary's College last Saturday. They could add to Belvo's burden as the defending champions.

Blackrock College v Young Munster, Stradbrook
'Rock have struggled from the get-go. They are light on personnel and coach Eric Miller has no choice but to go with a similar side.

Garryowen v Clontarf, Dooradoyle
Clontarf coach Andy Wood should have Leinster hooker Aaron Dundon and out-half Noel Reid available for selection.

Shannon v St Mary's College, Coonagh
Coach Peter Smyth will relish the challenge of going to a rejuvenated Shannon to make it two wins out of three.


Buccaneers v UCD, Dubarry Park
Director of Rugby Bobby Byrne will have Irish U20 scrum-half Peter du Toit back in contention for the first time this season


Dublin University v Terenure College, College Park
Captain David Joyce is struggling for form at out-half behind a pack led by the industry of Ireland U20 Dominic Gallagher. The 'Nure have faced promoted clubs City of Derry and Seapoint. They will have a better idea of what Trinity will bring to the table.

DLSP v Clonakilty, Kirwan Park
Coach Dave Murphy will have to do without full-back Michael Nevin and his captain Ken Copeland from the backline.

Old Wesley v Midleton, Donnybrook
Coach Morgan Lennon makes two changes in the back row where flankers David O'Connor and Conor Boyd join number eight Richard Murphy.

Seapoint v Corinthians, Kilbogget Park
The Killiney club was given a sharp shock to the system by Terenure last Saturday. It won't get any easier at home to joint leaders Corinthians.

Malone v Bective Rangers, Gibson Park
Prop Dave Halliday will make a swift return to his old club Malone.

Queen's University v Greystones, Dub Lane
Coach Reggie Corrigan will look for back-to-back victories over Ulster opposition, with wing Roddy Carroll their main threat.


Suttonians v Boyne, McDowell Grounds
Centre Peter Zafiri and wing Andrew Hegarty come into the Suttonians three-quarter line. Former Junior club Boyne expect assistant coach Eoin Collins to be back at number eight.

Navan v Naas, Balreask Old
Hooker James McGahy and openside Shane Dawson are back in the pack. Naas coach Niall Carson makes two changes to his pack, Andrew Shirley coming in at loose-head and openside Andrew Kearney forcing a reshuffle of the back row.

NUIM Barnhall v Rainey Old Boys, Parsonstown
Coach Denis Bowes makes three changes, bringing in full-back Ryan Hopkins, scrum-half Robbie Holt and openside Eoin Beatty.

Sunday's Well v Wanderers, Musgrave Park
James Wynstanley has taken over the reins at Wanderers just two rounds into the season with the club in last place.