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Patterson returns from Munster stint as UCD eye first AIL win

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Paddy Patterson of Munster Grey XV during a challenge match between Munster XV Red and Munster XV Grey at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Paddy Patterson of Munster Grey XV during a challenge match between Munster XV Red and Munster XV Grey at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Paddy Patterson of Munster Grey XV during a challenge match between Munster XV Red and Munster XV Grey at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

The spread of provincial and former provincial players lining out for clubs today in the higher reaches of the Energia All-Ireland League shows the more joined-up thinking between the provinces and clubs, as game-time is sought for the many academy and fringe players who are not involved in United Rugby Championship action.

Paddy Patterson, the Munster Academy scrum-half, is a good example. Last Saturday he got a quarter-of-an-hour off the bench in Munster’s impressive win in Llanelli. This afternoon he starts for UCD as they aim for their first victory at the third attempt.

The league is giving players who have not made the provincial cut a chance to stay in the shop window and further their careers.Michael Silvester makes his debut on the wing for Lansdowne at UCC, while Colm de Buitlear and Jordan Coghlan are part of a strong Terenure side heading to Young Munster.

Of course, the lure home is always there and defending Division 1A champions Cork Constitution, who are winless as they travel to Clontarf today, are delighted to have Conor Kindregan, Tomas Quinlan and John Poland back from stints playing Stateside in Major League Rugby.

Clubs further down the league are also pivoting to meet the needs of supporters, both at home and abroad. Division 1B’s Highfield, Old Belvedere and Old Wesley are all offering live streams of their home games on YouTube this afternoon.Meanwhile, domestic club rugby returns to the Aviva Stadium’s main pitch where Wanderers host Dungannon in a unique setting for a Division 2B fixture.

It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the majority of these players, including Dungannon kicker Jordan McIlwaine who once scored a club record 47 points for Lurgan in a single senior game.

ENERGIA MEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE (KO 2.30 TODAY UNLESS STATED)

DIV1a: Clontarf v Cork Constitution, Castle Avenue; Dublin University v Ballynahinch, College Park; Garryowen v UCD, Dooradoyle; UCC v Lansdowne, The Mardyke; Young Munster v Terenure College, Tom Clifford Park.

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DIV 1B: Banbridge v St Mary’s College, Rifle Park; City of Armagh v Shannon, Palace Grounds; Highfield v Naas, Woodleigh Park; Old Belvedere v Malone, Ollie Campbell Park; Old Wesley v Navan, Energia Park.

DIV 2A: UL Bohemians v Cashel, UL Arena, tonight, 8pm; Ballymena v Old Crescent, Eaton Park; Buccaneers v Nenagh Ormond, Dubarry Park; Queen’s University v Dolphin, Dub Lane; Rainey Old Boys v MU Barnhall, Hatrick Park.

DIV 2B: Belfast Harlequins v Ballina, Deramore Park; Galwegians v Blackrock College, Crowley Park; Greystones v Galway Corinthians, Dr Hickey Park; Sligo v Malahide, Hamilton Park; Wanderers v Dungannon, Aviva Stadium main pitch.

DIV 2C: Bangor v Midleton, Upritchard Park; Bruff v Clonmel, Kilballyowen Park; Enniscorthy v Omagh Academicals, Alcast Park; Skerries v Tullamore, Holmpatrick; Sunday’s Well v City of Derry, Musgrave Park.


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