Leinster ‘A’ will get another British & Irish Cup campaign underway this Saturday when the team travel to face English Championship side Doncaster Knights at Castle Park.
The ‘A’ team’s last British & Irish Cup campaign ended at the pool stage with three wins and three defeats from six games. Qualification for the quarter-finals went down to the last round, and though the ‘A’ team secured a 71-17 win over Richmond in their last game results didn’t go their way in the other pools.
Noel McNamara is in his first season as head coach of the ‘A’ team having spent last season as assistant coach.
McNamara spent eight years as head coach of the Clongowes Wood College Senior Cup team, in that time guiding Clongowes to four finals in the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup, winning the competition back-to-back in 2010 and 2011. He also led UCD Rugby Club to a Leinster Senior Cup victory and the All-Ireland League play-offs.
McNamara has also coached many age grade representative teams, including the Ireland U18 Schools, Leinster U18 Schools, Leinster U19 and Leinster U20 sides.
Thi Saturday’s game against Doncaster will be McNamara’s first in charge of the ‘A’ team.
Doncaster qualified for last season’s Championship promotion play-off and are currently in third place in English rugby’s second tier.
After their campaign opener away to Doncaster, Leinster ‘A’ return to Donnybrook to face Cardiff Blues Premiership Select on Saturday, 21st October. Get tickets for Leinster ‘A’ v Cardiff Blues PS.
In December the ‘A’ team will take on Bristol Rugby, who count one Ian Madigan among their squad and are now coached by Pat Lam, in back-to-back games.
Bristol lead the way at the top of the Championship with 29 points out of a possible 30 in their first six games, scoring 247 points.
McNamara’s side will travel to Ashton Gate on Friday, 8th December (KO 7.45pm), before welcoming Bristol to Donnybrook for the return fixture on Friday, 15th December (KO 7.45pm). Get tickets for Leinster ‘A’ v Bristol.
The campaign will finish with a trip away to Cardiff in January, followed by the home fixture against Doncaster on 20th January (KO 2pm). Get tickets for Leinster v Doncaster Knights.
Leinster ‘A’ – British & Irish Cup fixtures
Doncaster Knights v Leinster ‘A’ (14th October, Castle Park, KO 2.30pm)
Leinster ‘A’ v Blues Premiership Select (21st October, Donnybrook Stadium, KO 7.30pm) Get tickets
Bristol Rugby v Leinster ‘A’ (8th December, Ashton Gate, KO 7.45pm)
Leinster ‘A’ v Bristol Rugby (15th December, Donnybrook Stadium, KO 7.30pm) Get tickets
Blues Premiership Select v Leinster ‘A’ (13th January, Sardis Road, KO 2.30pm)
Leinster ‘A’ v Doncaster Knights (20th January, Donnybrook Stadium, KO 2pm) Get tickets
2016/17 Leinster ‘A’ results
Leinster ‘A’ 51 Ulster ‘A’ 10 (Friendly, Donnybrook Stadium)
Richmond 19 Leinster ‘A’ 68 (British & Irish Cup, Athletic Ground)
Leinster ‘A’ 21 Nottingham 29 (British & Irish Cup, Donnybrook Stadium)
Leinster ‘A’ 63 Scarlets Premiership Select 13 (British & Irish Cup, Donnybrook Stadium)
Scarlets Premiership Select 27 Leinster ‘A’ 7 (British & Irish Cup, The Park)
Nottingham 28 Leinster ‘A’ 24 (British & Irish Cup, Ladybay)
Leinster ‘A’ 71 Richmond 17 (British & Irish Cup, Donnybrook Stadium)
Ulster ‘A’ 10 Leinster ‘A’ 35 (Friendly, Banbridge RFC)