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Cross-border rivalry reignites in the British & Irish Cup

09 November 2011

  • Welsh, Irish and Scottish join in the action
  • Munster out for revenage over Pool leaders Pirates
British & Irish Cup Round 3

Photo: RFU Archive

The first-ever finalists in the British & Irish Cup go head to head in the next round of the competition, which sees the introduction of the six Welsh, three Scottish and three Irish to the competition.  

Having enjoyed two rounds of all-English affairs, cross-border rivalry is now added to the mix and Munster ‘A’ will not need any motivation ahead of the visit of Cornish Pirates, who claimed the first title at their expense in 2010.

The Pirates have started this season’s competition in fine fettle, claiming bonus-point wins over West Country rivals Plymouth Albion and Bristol Rugby to sit proudly top of Pool 1.

The only other game on Friday night sees a quick return to his native Northern Ireland for Doncaster’s summer signing David McIlwaine. The full-back, who appeared in the Heineken Cup for the Irish province last season, has been in sensational form for the Knights in the RFU Championship.

All seven of Saturday’s ties are cross-border affairs with Cross Keys entertaining Moseley at Pandy Park, and fellow B&I Cup new boys, London Scottish, taking a trip in the other direction to tackle Llanelli. Aberavon, who sit proudly on top of the Welsh Premiership, are at Exiles London Welsh, while Plymouth take on Ayr at Brickfields. Finally, there is a first-ever meeting between Swansea and Rotherham at St Helen’s.

On Sunday, holders Bristol Rugby welcome Neath to the Memorial Stadium, Leeds are at home to Currie and Nottingham, who boast two wins from two to top Pool 6, take on 2011 semi finalists Pontypridd.