Queen’s will be hoping to inflict City of Derry’s first defeat of the season in the big Ulster derby at the Dub.
The students returned to winning ways last week with a bonus point victory secured in the last 30 seconds at Bective having lost their two previous AIL games against Ballymena and Galwegians.
Winger Damon Hall’s left try gave Queen’s a maxium five points and lifted them to third in the table – five points behind leaders Derry.
The Judges Road side rallied from a 16-3 half time deficit at Bruff to score 26 unanswered second half points to preserve their two-point lead at the top of the table.
Queen’s go into the game hampered by injuries and call-ups to the Ulster Ravens.
Lock Marc Campbell, a try scorer at Bective and a member of Methody’s cup winning team last season, is on Ravens duty in Ayr as is back row Locran Dow and winger David Busby.
Prop Andrew Clingan is doubtful with a hamstring injury, captain Stuart McIlwaine has a hand injury.
Centre Michael McAuley has a wrist injury and is unlikely to play, scrum half Paddy Farrell suffered a hamstring injury in the warm-up at Bective and was withdrawn.
Flanker Robert Whitten suffered a neck injury but is expected to Derry.
Queen’s had a resounding 50-15 win against the north west club in the Ulster Senior League at the Dub last month but Director of Rugby Robbie Moore is expecting a totally different game.
“We are looking forward to it but we’ll be weaker than the Ulster league game and Derry will be stronger, they are top of the league and they will want to defend that position,” said Moore.
“Bective wasn’t a runaway victory, we only got the bonus point with 30 seconds left but it was a very good team performance.
“We have got injuries and three boys away with the Ravens but it is a big opportunity for the guys coming into prove themselves.”
Derry boast the only unbeaten in the division with five wins and a draw from their opening six games.
There is also an Ulster derby at Rifle Park as Banbridge host Rainey.
Dan Soper’s side recorded their first win of the season at Ballymena in their last outing to move out of the relegation zone but their game with Galwegians was postponed last Saturday so they are 14th with a game in hand,
Scrumhalf Ian Porter is unavailable but Shandon Scott and Peter Cromie return to the squad.
Rainey are coming of the back of defeats against UCC and Cashel and are eighth in the table.
The Old Boys have suffered a huge blow as influential hooker George Fitz dislocated his elbow and is ruled out of the trip to Co Down but it is hoped that he will be fit for the resumption of the AIL in January.
Coach Richard Boyd also has a number of other injury concerns going into the game.
Loose forward Stephen Mulholland is carrying a knock but it’s hoped he’ll be fit while No8 Colin Mitchell is also expected to shake off an injury.