U18 Clubs team head for UL following positive pre-season
August 16, 2019 11:25 am Site Editor
The inaugural U18s Festival was an unqualified success last year as a means of gathering all of the Under-18 talent in the nation, from the schools and clubs, at the University of Limerick, the perfect host venue.
The intense nature of the three matches over just eight days meant the provinces had the opportunity to introduce the players to a professional experience in that they all stayed on site to maximise preparation, recovery and the preview and review of analysis.
The Leinster Clubs have had a strong pre-season, coming together at their summer camp for training three days-a-week.
They began with a hit out against their Schools counterparts, going down 12-0, with Tullow flanker Conor Duffy the standout man.
From there, Leinster travelled to Barnard Castle school in the north of England, routing famous Scottish club Boroughmuir RFC 50-0 in a one-sided encounter.
Then, they needed all of their squad of 33 to take part in a three-club, one day blitz against Newcastle Falcons and Yorkshire Carnegie. The four matches were reduced to 20-minutes-a-half with Leinster losing to Newcastle 28-7 in their first outing.
After that, they just got better and better in beating Yorkshire 38-0 and 26-0 before taking a measure of retribution over Newcastle 28-12 in the final game of the day.
“From a coaching point of view, we have been happy with the work ethic and the character of the players,” said Team Manager Rob Mullen.
“The exciting thing about it was how we represented Ireland, in terms of playing two English clubs on one day. It was a very worthwhile experience.”
Connacht are the club champions and Leinster have not won this competition since 2016.
They will have the experience of out-half Fionn O’Hara, back from last year, and flanker Duffy, while there is genuine pedigree in winger Andrew Osborne, younger brother to Leinster U19s Jamie, Brian Deeny’s brother Paul and scrum-half Culann Carbery.
The strength is in the collective rather than the individuals and they will need everyone working together to get what they want.
A number of injury concerns has delayed the announcement of the Leinster team to play Munster in their opening match on Saturday evening until the day of the match.
U18 Clubs Interprovincial Championship Schedule
Leinster v Munster (Saturday, 17 August, UL, KO 7pm)
Connacht v Leinster (Wednesday, 21 August, UL, KO 3pm)
Leinster v Ulster (Sunday, 25 August, UL, KO 1pm)
Leinster Rugby U18 Clubs Squad
Daniel Adekunle (North Meath RFC)
Stefan Bors (Boyne RFC)
Culann Carbery (Athy RFC)
Stephen Carroll (Tullow RFC)
Ruairi Clarke (Cill Dara RFC)
Paul Deeny (Wexford Wanderers RFC)
David Dooley (Tullamore RFC)
Conor Duffy (Tullow RFC)
Tadhg Finlay (DLSP FC)
Conor Gibney (Mullingar RFC)
Barry Gray (Carlow FC)
George Hadden (Gorey RFC)
Jack Hanlon (Tullow RFC)
Aitzol King (Balbriggan RFC)
Oscar King (Boyne RFC)
Dylan Lynch (Boyne RFC)
Dylan McDermott (Tullamore RFC)
Fionn McWey (Portlaoise RFC)
Oisin Michel (Cill Dara RFC)
Fionn O’Hara (Mullingar RFC)
Josh O’Hare (Dundalk RFC)
Abdul Olaskaban (Balbriggan RFC)
Andrew Osborne (Naas RFC)
Ben Popplewell (Wexford Wanderers RFC)
Adam Treanor (Mullingar RFC)
Sean Walsh (Seapoint RC)
Munster Rugby U18 Clubs team
15. James O’Sullivan (Cashel)
14. Ihechi Oji (Carrigaline RFC)
13. Luke Underwood-Doyle (Waterford City)
12. James Finn (Nenagh)
11. Owen Byrne (Thurles)
10. Tony Butler (Ennis)
9. Ethan Coughlan (Ennis)
1. Kian Regan (Tralee)
2. Dylan Murphy (Nenagh, Captain)
3. Darragh McCarthy (Cobh)
4. Edwin Edugobo Cobh)
5. Shane Cawley (Waterpark)
6. Conor Moloney (Ennis)
7. PJ Cronin (Cobh)
8. Jack O’Sullivan (Cobh)
16. Thomas Land (Midleton)
17. Daniel McCarthy (Midleton)
18. Bradley Aherne (Galbally)
19. David Bambidele (Cork Constitution)
20. Diarmuid Dennehy (Bruff)
21. Sam Quinlan (Thurles)
22. Fabian Loughrey (Sunday’s Well)
23. Seamus Lyne (Tralee),
24. Anthony Castillo (Mallow)
25. Guilherme Patricia Ventura (Highfield)