Local rugby fans will have the opportunity to watch the best that junior rugby in Ireland has to offer this Saturday (2.30pm) as Ulster take on Connacht in the Junior Inter-Provincial Championships at Mullaghmeen on Saturday.
And there should be local interest both on the pitch and on the sideline with Clogher pair David Sharkey and Kyle Cobain as well as Enniskillen’s David Buchanan included in the Ulster squad while Clogher Valley’s Davy Black is Ulster’s forwards coach.
Black is delighted to have the competition at a local venue at a time when rugby in the West of the province has never been stronger.
“It is great to have this game in Enniskillen, especially with rugby in the West looking as bright as it has done in years. Enniskillen will move up to Qualifying One next season after Bangor’s promotion last weekend and Clogher and Omagh are both already in that league so there will be some proper derbies next year and it is great for local rugby fans to have three teams from the West playing at the top level of junior rugby in the province,” he said.
Black was part of the Ulster management team that led them to the Inter-Pro title last season and he is hoping to retain the crown this time around although he expects a tough opener at Mullaghmeen against Connacht.
“They gave us as good a game as any last year in the competition and Connacht rugby in general is buzzing at the minute so we are expecting a very tough game. Hopefully though we will be able to get off to a good start,” he added.
The Connacht game will be followed by an away encounter against Munster in Clonakilty on May 7 and a game against Leinster in Coleraine on May 14. “We’ll be looking to retain the title, that’s the goal. There is a great bond between the lads from the different clubs and hopefully we’ll get a good crowd behind us on Saturday and get a winning start,” said Black.