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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 15 July, 2020

Irishmen O'Donnell and Glynn involved in Super Rugby pre-season games

Melbourne Rebels and the Crusaders have handed the Irish pair opportunities.

FORMER CONNACHT PROP Conán O Donnell‏ has been included in the Crusaders squad for tomorrow’s pre-season friendly against the Hurricanes.

The Crusaders, who have won the last three Super Rugby titles under head coach Scott Robertson, have handed O’Donnell an opportunity just two weeks out from the 2020 campaign kicking off.

23-year-old O’Donnell, who mainly plays on the loosehead side of the scrum but also covers tighthead, impressed the Crusaders last year when he played Super Rugby with the Sunwolves in Japan and then joined Counties Manukau in New Zealand’s Mitre 10 Cup.

conan-odonnell O'Donnell played for Counties Manukau last year. Source: Photosport/Marc Shannon/INPHO

O’Donnell, who came through in Sligo RFC and Summerhill College, is a former Ireland U20 international, playing two seasons at that level in 2015 and 2016.

He made his senior Connacht debut in 2015 and played eight times in total that 2015/16 season, when he was in the first year of his academy deal, before opportunities became less frequent and he was released by his native province in May of last year.

O’Donnell was contacted by Sunwolves coach Cory Brown, formerly an elite player development officer at Connacht, and took his chance in Japan as he joined the Sunwolves for the second half of the 2019 Super Rugby season, making five appearances.

O’Donnell then signed with Counties Manukau, for whom he made seven starts. He has since linked up with the Crusaders and will be keen to impress tomorrow if he gets a chance, hoping to earn a contract into the new season.

Crusaders have named two starting XVs for tomorrow’s clash with the Hurricanes, while O’Donnell is named among the replacements.

In the first starting team is Irish tighthead Oli Jager. The former Naas RFC man was an Ireland Schools international and won a Leinster Schools Senior Cup with Blackrock in 2013 before moving to New Zealand in 2014 to chase his rugby dream.

The 24-year-old has been on the rise since, helping Canterbury to Mitre 10 Cup glory in 2016 and 2017, and racking up 15 Super Rugby appearances in total so far. 

jamie-glynn Glynn makes a break for UCD in 2018. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Meanwhile, former UCD, Garryowen, and Terenure scrum-half Jamie Glynn was named on the bench for the Melbourne Rebels’ pre-season game against the Queensland Reds this morning.

Limerick native Glynn, who played schools rugby with Clongowes – winning Leinster Schools Junior Cup and Senior Cup medals – only recently moved to Australia and secured a job in accountancy, while joining a local club side.

However, he was catapulted into the Rebels’ pre-season set-up out of the blue with the Aussie Super Rugby side dealing with injury issues at scrum-half. The Rebels touched base with contacts in Ireland to sound out Glynn’s ability and attitude, hearing glowing reports in response.

Glynn has played for Leinster A and Munster Development sides, while he has been a standout player in the All-Ireland League for many years.

The Reds came out on top of today’s pre-season clash with a dominant 57-5 win over the Rebels.

Elsewhere, Louth native Michael McDonald was involved in the Waratahs’ pre-season clash with the Highlanders, scoring a try after coming off the bench in a 40-21 win.

Scrum-half McDonald, who moved to Australia with his family at the age of 13, starred for the Australia U20s last year and is rated as an excellent prospect in Aussie rugby.

The former Dundalk RFC man developed his game in Western Australia and went on to play for the Western Force in the Global Rapid Rugby competition last year before underlining his potential at the World Rugby U20 Championship, where he played against his native Ireland.

McDonald signed with the Waratahs ahead of the 2020 season and will now hope to push into their Super Rugby plans in the coming months.

Impressive debutant Garry Doyle joins Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey to sift through Andy Farrell’s Six Nations squad selection, talk Ireland captaincy, and much more. 

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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