Cathal Marsh will captain Leinster ‘A’ when they travel to face Cardiff Blues Premiership Select at Sardis Road, the home of Pontypridd RFC, on Saturday (KO 2.30pm).
Noel McNamara’s side are unbeaten so far in this season’s competition, collecting maximum points from the back-to-back games against Bristol Rugby in December and in the opening two rounds back in October.
That record puts them at the top of Pool 2, five points ahead of Doncaster Knights who visit Donnybrook Stadium next week.
Marsh will captain the ‘A’ team in a half-back pairing with Charlie Rock who comes into start against Cardiff having appeared from the bench in the last round against Bristol.
The only other change to the backline from that game sees Jack Kelly named on the right wing in place of Hugo Keenan who is in South America with the Ireland Men’s 7s.
There’s is an all-new front row for Saturday’s game in Wales with Peter Dooley, Ronan Kelleher and Jack Aungier all selected to start.
Mick Kearney comes in to partner Ian Nagle in the second row, while Max Kearney, who captained Belvedere College to their second successive Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Senior Cup title last March, is named in the back row with Josh Murphy and Peadar Timmins.
Speaking to leinsterrugby.ie ahead of the game, Leinster ‘A’ head coach Noel McNamara said:
“We’ve put ourselves in a strong position – the four wins from four has been great. It’s important now in these next two games that we get results to give us the best possible opportunity to advance in the competition. We feel we’ve done well up to this point but it’s important for us to hammer that home over the course of the next two weeks.
“The great thing about Leinster ‘A’ is it’s a Leinster selection; there are guys from the sub-Academy right the way up to senior players. It’s an opportunity this week for a couple of younger guys. Max Kearney is making his debut, but also Jack Aungier and Ronan Kelleher are making their first starts. The Cardiff team is experienced, they’ve got Welsh internationals involved, so it’s going to be a big test.”
Leinster ‘A’ return to Donnybrook Stadium next Saturday, 20th January, to face Doncaster Knights in a game that could determine who tops the pool and progresses to the quarter-final stage with home advantage.
Tickets can be purchased online from Ticketmaster from €10/5 or supporters can pay cash on the gate. Season Ticket holders can enter for free when they show their 2017/18 Season Ticket card at the gate.
15. Ciarán Frawley
14. Jack Kelly
13. Gavin Mullin
12. Conor O’Brien
11. Tommy O’Brien
10. Cathal Marsh CAPTAIN
9. Charlie Rock
1. Peter Dooley
2. Ronan Kelleher
3. Jack Aungier
4. Mick Kearney
5. Ian Nagle
6. Josh Murphy
7. Max Kearney
8. Peadar Timmins
16. Sean McNulty
17. Adam Coyle
18. Óisín Heffernan
19. Óisín Dowling
20. Ronan Foley
21. Hugh O’Sullivan
22. Michael Silvester