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Rugby: Mary's out for revenge

The Leinster Schools Junior Cup champions Terenure welcome back seven members of last year's squad, five starters including their captain Robert Somerville and No8 Harrison Brewer.

With this in mind, they have not been as dominant as one would expect, losing to Castleknock since Christmas and to Blackrock (15-13) in their last outing.

St Mary's will have to overturn the form to gain entrance into the business end of the competition. They have been beaten twice by the champions in their pre-Cup campaign. Stranger things have happened.

Their No8 Stephen Corcoran is still out with an ankle injury. He is back from last year, as is Ronan Kernan, who will move from the flank to the middle of the backrow. Centre Sam Molony and tight-head Niall Davis are also in their second season at this level to give them a fair level of experience.

St Michael's v Kilkenny, Donnybrook, Tues 2.30

St Michael's are the Cup favourites. They are at full-strength. They have won 19, lost two and drawn one this season with a side that is considered well above average in the school.

Captain Ross Byrne will lead the way from out-half with six of the 22 back from last year's final defeat to Terenure. They will surely be driven by a desire to make amends.

They won't have it all their own way against Kilkenny, who were a whisker away from winning the Leinster Schools League final. The Marble City boys have no injury worries and will be driven by hard-running centre Ross Bailey-Kearney and workaholic flanker Michael Triggs.

Gonzaga v Castleknock, Kilternan, Wed 2.30

Coach Evan Stewart is hopeful that 'Zaga captain and hooker Paddy Finley, No8 Nick Deeney and wing Dan Dwyer will come through fitness tests.

Castleknock started with 11 straight wins, beating most of the big guns, before faltering slightly. Paul O'Connell will start in place of regular fly-half Darragh Henry, who is not match fit. Captain Jack O'Neill will play at either centre or in the backrow.

High School v Clongowes, Suttonians, Wed 2.30

The High School have come together well since an indifferent run in the Leinster League. Out-half Dean Kilroy, captain Gavin Power and prop Richard Beverland are providing much needed leadership.

Clongowes are always well-drilled at this age grade. Whether they have a side to compare with those of the last three years is debatable.

They will look negotiate HS and improve as the competition unfolds.

Newbridge v CBC Monkstown, Anglesea Rd, Wed 2.30

Leinster League winners Newbridge should be full of confidence. They are strong up front with excellent forwards in prop Ed Wynne and backrower Richie Dalton and key backs in out-half Billy Dardis and three-quarter Matthew Madigan.

CBC have been moving nicely since the turn of the year, getting the better of Gonzaga and going down to Belvedere by a point. They have the full complement of players.

Pres Bray v St Patrick's Navan, Coolmine, Wed 3.0

These two Fr Godfrey Cup qualifiers will give it everything. Pres coach Kevin Conroy will have to wait on his captain Adam Stapleton. There is less concern over centre Jason Curran. Luke Maloney will come in for out-half Tadhg Devlin, who has a broken cheekbone. St Patrick's, the esteemed Gaelic nursery, boast a strong pack of forwards with their No8 Stephen Keelan the main playmaker. Fly-half Colm Reilly will be asked to put them in the right parts of the pitch.


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