New-boys Clonmel will test City of Derry this weekend
Newly promoted Clonmel will travel to Derry on Saturday for the first ever meeting between the two sides in All-Ireland League Division 2C.
The Tipperary Club beat Seapoint 15-12 last season in the AIL play-off to get promotion to Division 2C, capping off a great season that has also seen them winning the Munster Junior League title.
Indeed, they are now playing senior rugby for the first time in their 127-year history.
Clonmel have certainly been on an upward curve in recent years. Former Ireland and Munster back-row Denis Leamy brought his high standards with him when he hooked up with the club in a coaching capacity after injury cut short his playing career.
Pat O'Connor is now head coach of the team which has won the Munster Junior League on four occasions in five years.
City of Derry, with just one win in four league outings, will be anxious to chalk up a victory against the Munster side, not least after losing out to Sundays Well last weekend.
Indeed, there is a danger that Derry could drop to the bottom rung of the table should they slip up and results go against them elsewhere.
Clonmel come to the Craig Thompson Stadium having made a decent start to life in the fifth tier of the AIL.
Last time out they were held to a 13-13 draw by Tullamore.
Clonmel’s strong scrum could well be a factor in the contest.
Derry began their league programme with a 19-18 home defeat against Bruff, and then lost 38-36 to Skerries.
Derry then recorded their first win in the north-west derby against Omagh, as they ran out 23-19 winners.
But hopes for a second successive win came undone last weekend when - with a below strength team - they lost by 14 points to Sundays Well.
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