ONE of the biggest fixtures on the domestic club rugby calendar is set to clash directly with Munster’s glamour RaboDirect PRO12 tie with Leinster at the Aviva Stadium on Friday night.
Club heavyweights Garryowen and Young Munster are set to face-off in a crunch Ulster Bank All-Ireland League Division 1A tie under the Dooradoyle floodlights at 7.30pm, just half an hour before the meeting of the Irish provinces in Dublin which is being televised live on TG4.
The meeting of great rivals Garryowen and Young Munster, has attracted bumper attendances to Dooradoyle when played under lights on Friday nights in recent seasons and with both clubs making a highly promising start to the AIL, including wins over Cork Constitution and Shannon respectively last weekend, another sizeable attendance would have been expected to attend.
However, the fact the game now clashes with the meeting of Leinster and Munster in the PRO12 is likely to significantly reduce the number of spectators in attendance this time round.
Clubs have embraced the staging of AIL games under lights when possible. In this case, while accepting that the clash with such a high profile PRO12 tie is unfortunate, it was decided that the Round 5 All-Ireland League game would remain as a Friday night fixture.
Young Munster were understood to be unable to facilitate changing the fixture to this Saturday afternoon as a number of their players would be unavailable to play, having made plans to be away, based on the game taking place on its original date which was this Friday evening.
A second local derby in Division 1B of AIL scheduled for Friday night, the meeting of Bruff and UL-Bohemian in Kilballyowen Park, which had also been due to begin at 7.30pm now has a 6.30pm kick-off instead.
It will be the first time a Division 1B tie featuring the Limerick rivals will be played on a Friday night under lights. Supporters attending the game in Bruff will be able to view the game on TVs in the clubhouse.
Bruff Club President Richard Leonard said the fixture clash with the PRO12 tie at the Aviva Stadium was very unfortunate. As a result, they had decided to bring the kick-off time on Friday forward by an hour to 6.30pm.