‘A’ team named for final Celtic Cup round robin game
October 3, 2019 9:00 am Ryan Corry
The Leinster Rugby ‘A’ team, as sponsored by Bank of Ireland, has been named to face Connacht Eagles in the final Celtic Cup round robin game at the Sportsground tomorrow afternoon (KO 1pm).
There are two changes to the front five who took to the field in last week’s 55-17 win against Dragons at Energia Park.
Charlie Ward and Dan Sheehan retain their spots in the front row while Roman Salanoa, a replacement against Dragons, comes in at tighthead.
Ryan Baird is the second introduction, joining captain Charlie Ryan at lock.
Completing the pack is No 8 Ronan Foley, flanked by Óisín Dowling and Scott Penny, who is set to make his return from a shoulder injury.
Hugh O’Sullivan dons the number nine shirt and is partnered at half-back by Conor Kelly.
2019 Schools Senior Cup winner Andrew Smith and Josh O’Connor line out on the wings while McNamara has opted to stick with the same midfield duo of Gavin Mullins, hat-trick scorer last week, and Tommy O’Brien who was also on the score sheet.
Rob Russell completes the lineup, selected once more at full back.
Speaking ahead of the game, Simon Broughton, Elite Player Development Officer for the province and ‘A’ team coach, said: “From a coach’s point of view, the Celtic Cup has been a great platform for our players to showcase their talents and we are pleased with how they have applied themselves up to this point in the competition. They are a young playing group that have invested a lot of their attention towards improving their individual skill sets over the past six weeks.
“We’re pretty happy with the performance levels of the players against Dragons, they are a good side and posed a number of different challenges throughout the game and we thought the players adapted well. The player group drives very high standards and have identified areas that they would like to improve on against Connacht.
“We know Connacht are a well coached side, with a pool of talented players to select from. A number of those players have represented Ireland at National level so we look forward to the challenge they will offer on Friday.”
Leinster Rugby ‘A’ team v Connacht Eagles (Leinster Senior caps in brackets)
15. Rob Russell
14. Josh O’Connor
13. Gavin Mullin (2)
12. Tommy O’Brien
11. Andrew Smith
10. Conor Kelly
9. Hugh O’Sullivan (15)
1. Charlie Ward
2. Dan Sheehan
3. Roman Salanoa
4. Charlie Ryan CAPTAIN
5. Ryan Baird (1)
6. Óisín Dowling (4)
7. Scott Penny (6)
8. Ronan Foley
16. Bobby Sheehan
17. Marcus Hanan
18. Tom Clarkson
19. Brian Deeny
20. Alex Soroka
21. Cormac Foley
22. James Tarrant
23. Liam Turner