All-Ireland League (rugby union)

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All-Ireland League
Ulster Bank All-Ireland League logo.jpg
Sport Rugby union
Instituted 1990
Number of teams 52
Nations Ireland Ireland
Holders Lansdowne (2012-13)
Most titles Shannon RFC (9 titles)

The All-Ireland League (AIL), known for sponsorship reasons as the Ulster Bank All-Ireland League, is the national league system for the 52 senior rugby union clubs in Ireland, covering both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The participants in the league also participate in the associated All-Ireland League Cup. The league was inaugurated in the 1990–91 season.

The league is the second highest level of rugby union in Ireland, as professional teams representing the four provinces of Ireland play in the Pro12.

Division 1 sides are allowed to field only two professional players in their matchday sides, and only one may be a forward. Professional players may not participate in Division 2 matches. Foreign professional players may not play in the League.[1]


The All-Ireland League has been dominated by teams from Limerick who have won 13 out of 23 titles. Teams from Munster have won 17 out of 23. The All-Ireland League was not sponsored in the initial season, but was sponsored for six years by Insurance Corporation of Ireland. The League was sponsored by Allied Irish Banks from 1998 to 2010.[2] Ulster Bank has sponsored the league since 2010.[3]

Tournament format[edit]

The league is currently divided into three divisions (with Division One further divided into two sections, 1A and 1B, effectively creating a four division structure). Division One is played in the traditional double round-robin format with Divisions 2A and 2B played in a single round-robin format. The top three teams in Division 1A and the top team in Division 1B contest the end of season play-offs the determine the League champion. Play-offs also take place in Divisions 2A and 2B between the top four teams in those divisions.[4]

Promotion and relegation exists between the divisions and between the provincial junior leagues and Division 2B.

New structure from 2011–2012[edit]

From 2011 onwards, the regular season champions will be divisional champions and will in the case of the Division 1A champions, become League champions, and in the case of the other divisions, be automatically be promoted. The new structure will remain in place until at least 2017.[5]

  • In each division the club finishing on top after the League series will receive a Union plaque but is not deemed the champion club of that division. Champions of each division are decided on a play-off of the top four clubs. First plays Fourth & Second plays Third. The winners then meet in a final
  • If a match is tied at the end of 80 minutes the following criteria determine the winner:
    • Extra time of ten minutes each way will be played
    • If still tied, the club that has scored the most tries in the game will be the winner
    • If still tied, the club that finished in the higher position in the league during the season will be the winner

Previous winners[edit]

1990-91 Cork Constitution
1991-92 Garryowen
1992-93 Young Munster
1993-94 Garryowen
1994-95 Shannon
1995-96 Shannon
1996-97 Shannon
1997-98 Shannon
1998-99 Cork Constitution
1999-2000 St Mary's College
2000-01 Dungannon
2001-02 Shannon

2002-03 Ballymena
2003-04 Shannon
2004-05 Shannon
2005-06 Shannon
2006-07 Garryowen
2007-08 Cork Constitution
2008-09 Shannon
2009-10 Cork Constitution
2010-11 Old Belvedere
2011-12[6] St Mary's College
2012-13 Lansdowne
2013-14 Clontarf

Total wins by club[edit]


Division placing are from the 2014-15 season.

Division 1A[edit]

Team Location Stadium Capacity
Ballynahinch Ballynahinch Ballymacarn Park 1,000
Clontarf Dublin (Clontarf) Castle Avenue 3,200
Cork Constitution Cork (Ballintemple) Temple Hill 1,000
Dolphin Cork Musgrave Park 9,251
Lansdowne Dublin (Ballsbridge) Aviva Stadium 51,700
Old Belvedere Dublin (Ballsbridge) Anglesea Road 1,000
St Mary's College Dublin (Templeogue) Templeville Road 4,000
Terenure College Dublin (Terenure) Lakelands Park 3,000
UCD Dublin (Belfield) UCD Bowl 3,000
Young Munster Limerick Tom Clifford Park 1,000

Division 1B[edit]

Team Location Stadium Capacity
Belfast Harlequins Belfast Deramore Park 1,000
Ballymena Ballymena Eaton Park 1,000
Buccaneers Athlone Dubarry Park 10,000
Galway Corinthians Galway Corinthian Park 1,000
Galwegians Galway Crowley Park 2,000
Garryowen Limerick Dooradoyle 1,500
Dublin University Dublin College Park 1,000
Malone Belfast (Cregagh) Gibson Park 1,000
Shannon Limerick Thomond Park 26,500
UL Bohemians Limerick Thomond Park 26,500

Division 2A[edit]

Team Location Stadium Capacity
Banbridge Banbridge Rifle Park 1,000
NUIM Barnhall Leixlip Parsonstown 1,000
Bective Rangers Dublin (Donnybrook) Donnybrook Rugby Ground 7,000
Blackrock College Dublin (Blackrock) Stradbrook Road 1,000
Cashel Cashel Spafield 200
City of Derry Derry (Strathfoyle) Judges Road 1,000
Dungannon Dungannon Stevenson Park 1,000
Naas Naas Forenaughts 3,000
Nenagh Ormond Nenagh New Ormond Park 1,000
Old Wesley Dublin (Donnybrook) Donnybrook Rugby Ground 7,000
Queen's University Belfast Dub Lane 1,000
Rainey Old Boys Magherafelt Hatrick Park 1,000
Seapoint Dublin (Killiney) Kilbogget Park 4,000
Skerries Dublin (Skerries) Holmpatrick 1,000
Thomond Limerick Liam Fitzgerald Park 1,000
UCC Cork Mardyke 5,000

Division 2B[edit]

Team Location Stadium Capacity
Ards Newtownards Hamilton Park 1,000
City of Armagh Armagh Palace Grounds 1,000
Boyne Drogheda Shamrock Lodge 1,000
Bruff Bruff Kilballyowen Park 1,000
De La Salle Palmerston Dublin (Kilternan) Kirwan Park 1,000
Greystones Greystones Dr Hickey Park 1,000
Highfield Cork Woodleigh Park 4,000
Kanturk Kanturk Inchwell Road 1,000
Midleton Midleton Towns Park 400
Navan Navan Balreask Old 1,000
Old Crescent Limerick Rosbrien 4,000
Richmond Limerick Richmond Park 1,000
Sligo Strandhill Hamilton Park 1,000
Sundays Well Cork Musgrave Park 9,251
Tullamore Tullamore Spollanstown 1,000
Wanderers Dublin (Ballsbridge) Merrion Road 1,000

External links[edit]