With the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer now sadly drawing to a close, our clubs across the province are back in training with preparation well underway for the long season ahead.
Our senior men’s clubs kick-off the season with the Bank of Ireland Leinster Senior League which begins this coming Saturday, 27 August.
This competition gives the clubs the opportunity to play competitive rugby early in the season and prepare them for the Energia All-Ireland League starting in October.
A new season, as always, sees new players join squads and also there will be clubs who will have lost players due to retirement or moving on.
The Leinster Senior League is divided into two divisions of nine clubs with the teams from 1A and 1B of the All-Ireland League in Division 1, with Division 2 made up of the teams in 2A, 2B and 2C.
The nine clubs in each division are divided into groups of three who will play each other with the winner from each group, along with the highest placed runner-up across the groups going through to a semi-final.
Group A pitches last season’s Leinster League winners Clontarf, before they went on to become All-Ireland League champions, against the students of Dublin University along with Naas RFC.
In Group B, last season’s AIL runners-up Terenure are drawn to play fellow neighbors and old rivals St Mary’s College along with University College Dublin.
Group C has Lansdowne, runners-up in last season’s Leinster League, drawn with Old Belvedere and Old Wesley.
Group A brings Blackrock College and Enniscorthy together, both of whom gained promotion from their respective All-Ireland League divisions last season. They are joined by Navan RFC.
Group B sees Skerries and Wanderers joined by MU Barnhall, who will look forward to playing their fellow Leinster clubs after being the only club from the province in Division 2A of the AIL last season.
Group C, it’s Greystones, Malahide and Tullamore who will compete against each other for a semi-final spot.
So, the next three weeks promises plenty of early competitive action across the province from our clubs as they strive to find form and gather momentum for the long season ahead. We wish each club every success.
Check out fixtures, dates and kick-off times on the Leinster website and social media.