Club Notes: Record number of teams in the hat to contest Connacht Schools Cups
A record number of teams will contest this season's Top Oil Connacht Schools Cups which will be officially launched tomorrow.
In total, there are 61 teams across 37 schools taking part in this year's tournaments, with the opening pool games taking place on Wednesday, January 16.
Further pool games on Wednesday, January 23 and Wednesday, January 30 will determine who will go on to the knockout stages.
The Connacht Senior Schools Cup will be contested by six teams, with Garbally College aiming to defend the crown they won last March in a 34-7 victory over Coláiste Iognáid. The win gave the Ballinasloe school their 46th outright title, making them far and away the most successful team in the competition's history. The Senior Cup will see the teams entered into two pools of three, with the top two in each going on to the semi-finals.
The Senior Development Cup features 12 teams in three pools of four, while the Senior Emerging Cup will include a massive 14 teams.
In the Junior 'A' Cup, it's Marist College who go in as defending champions after their victory over Garbally in last year's decider. They're joined by seven teams in this year's tournament. The 11 teams in the Junior Development Cup and 10 in the Junior Emerging Cup complete this year's entrants.
The draw for the six cups takes place tomorrow at 4.05pm in the Sportsground's Heineken Rugby Clubhouse, prior to Connacht's Guinness PRO14 clash with Dragons.
The full list of competing teams can be found below and for further details on the structure of this year's tournaments, go to community.connachtrugby.ie
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Junior Cup: CBS Roscommon, Coláiste Iognáid, Garbally College, Marist College, Sligo Grammar, St Muiredach's, Summerhill College, The Bish.
Junior Development Cup: Coláiste Bhaile Chláir, Coláiste éinde Salthill, Gallen CS, Gort CS, Gortnor Abbey, HRC Mountbellew, Pres Athenry, Pres Headford, Rice College, St Gerald's Castlebar, St Mary's Ballygar.
Junior Emerging Cup: Abbey CC, Athlone CC, Enniscrone, Sancta Maria College, Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiarán, St Brigid's Loughrea, St Jarlath's Tuam, St Joseph's Foxford, St Paul's Oughterard, Swinford.
Senior Cup: CBS Roscommon, Coláiste Iognáid, Garbally College, Marist College, Sligo Grammar, Summerhill College.
Senior Development Cup: Calasanctius, Coláiste éinde Salthill, Gallen CS, Gortnor Abbey, HRC Mountbellew, Pres Athenry, Pres Headford, Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiarán, St Gerald's Castlebar, St Jarlath's Tuam, St Muiredach's, Yeats College.
Senior Emerging Cup: Abbey CC, Athlone CC, Clarin College, Clifden CS, Coláiste Bhaile Chláir, Coláiste Chiarán, Enniscrone, Roscommon CC, Sancta Maria College, St Joseph's Foxford, St Patrick's Lacken Cross, St Paul's Oughterard, St Raphael's Loughrea, Swinford.
Women stars of past and present to be honoured at Sportsground
Almost 100 Connacht Women's players past and present will be honoured at tomorrow's Connacht Women's Recognition Night at The Sportsground.
This is the first time in the 20-plus years of the Connacht Women's team that players who have represented Connacht at senior level will be formally recognised in this way.
The players attending the event will range from those who were among the first to represent the province to members of the 2018 interprovincial squad.
The event will take place at the Heineken Rugby Clubhouse at The Sportsground, immediately following Connacht's Guinness PRO14 clash with Dragons.
Any member of the public who wishes to attend the event can do so if they purchase a Clubhouse Hospitality ticket for the game on connachtrugby.ie/tickets.
Senior clubs aim to bounce back to form after winless weekend
The five senior clubs will all be looking to get back to winning ways after a weekend to forget in the All-Ireland League.
There were no wins to report for the Connacht sides, so there'll be plenty of motivation for the teams.
Buccaneers host Malone in Division 1B, with the Athlone side sitting in ninth place on six points from their first four games.
In the division below them, Galwegians are still searching their first points of the 2A campaign, but they'll be hopeful of getting on the board when they travel to Dolphin who are just above them in the table.
In Division 2B, Sligo and Corinthians have both picked up one win from four games, with Sligo gaining an extra bonus point along the way. They travel to Greystones while Corinthians host Dungannon.
Meanwhile, Ballina will be looking to return to winning ways when they host Thomond in their Division 2C encounter.
The Mayo side lost their first game of the season last weekend after opening with three straight victories.