Ballymena RFC host Ulster A at Eaton Park on Saturday 29 September. The Irish Rugby Football Union and the Welsh Rugby Union have joined forces to create a new development competition, the Celtic Cup, for the emerging professional players from the four Irish provinces and four Welsh regions.
The tournament, which features development squads from Connacht, Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Cardiff Blues, the Dragons, the Ospreys and the Scarlets, aims to provide a learning environment for players, coaches and referees by recreating the week-to-week challenges presented by senior professional rugby.
The eight teams are divided into two conferences of four Welsh regions and four Irish provinces. Each Irish province will play each of the Welsh regions and will play against two Irish provinces. The Ulster A squad includes Ballymena players Michael Stronge, Marcus Rea, Bruce Houston, Robert Baloucoune, Clive Ross and Rodney Ah You. Ulster A will face a Dragons A side at Eaton Park who have lost their first two games and a strong home support should help Ulster A to victory. Admission is Free and kick off is at 2.30pm.