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Queen's ready for stiff stamina test

By Ronnie Ingram

Queen's will be playing their third game in nine days when they travel to Malone in the Senior League this evening (all games start at 7.30pm).

Having already defeated Trinity 16-13 and Quins 31-13 within five days they have suffered their share of injuries in the process, but fortunately have no game on Saturday which will allow players to mend their wounds before the start of their AIL campaign at home to Highfield the following week.

"We will definitely start without Eoin Devlin (concussion) and Michael McAuley (shoulder injury) and there are doubts about Ross McGaughey, who had to be stitched after the Quins game, and Stewart McIlwaine," said director of rugby Robbie Moore.

"We will be rotating players so John Russell will come in at scrum-half, Luke Steele at tight head and Robbie Stewart to the centre."

Ballymena also have the same problem as James Taggart has an elbow injury. They are at Belfast Harlequins where Bryan Young will probably start at loose head. Matthew Johnston will be in the centre for Darrell Montgomery and Ryan Patterson at full-back for Rory Drysdale.

Banbridge will make five changes that will strengthen their squad for the home encounter against current champions Ballynahinch.

Prop Colin Bickerstaff is back and Johnny Graham is fit again. Dale Carson will start in the back row while former Quins winger Miles O'Hagan will be included with Gregg Taylor at full-back.

Hinch, without a game last Saturday, have already defeated two of their main rivals for the title, Malone and City of Derry, and will not finalise their squad until this morning.

Rainey, who along with Hinch are the only teams undefeated in the competition, go to Instonians and will probably make a number of changes after their 48-8 defeat against City of Derry.

Dungannon, following their morale boosting win over Belfast Harlequins (22-12), should prove too strong for Ards at Stevenson Park.

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