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Leinster name strong 'A' team for tomorrow's B&I Cup semi-final

Adam Byrne, Ian Nagle and Josh Murphy all start against the Jersey Reds.

Byrne missed out on selection for the Champions Cup semi-final against Scarlets.
Byrne missed out on selection for the Champions Cup semi-final against Scarlets.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

LEINSTER ‘A’ HEAD coach Noel McNamara has named a strong team for Saturday’s British and Irish Cup semi-final, with all but one of the starting XV having featured in the Guinness Pro14 at some stage this season.

McNamara has made three changes in total from the quarter-final win over Munster last month, with the likes of Adam Byrne, Josh Murphy and Ian Nagle all set to start against the Jersey Reds at St Peter’s [KO 3pm].

Bryan Byrne captains the side and is joined in the front row by brother Ed and Vakh Abdaladze, while Mick Kearney joins Nagle in the second row.

The only change in the pack comes in the back row with the fit-again Caelan Doris coming in at number eight after a lengthy spell on the sidelines, as Murphy starts at blindside and Peadar Timmins openside.

In the backs, Cathal Marsh returns from a toe injury to start at out-half, which means Ciaran Frawley switches to the fullback position, with Jack Kelly dropping to the bench.

Ireland U20 captain Tommy O’Brien is named on the left wing with Byrne adding senior experience on the right. Conor O’Brien and Gavin Mullin, who recently made his full debut, make up the midfield pairing.

Ciaran Frawley Frawley starts at fullback. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

On the bench, meanwhile, Tom Daly is in line for his long-awaited return after suffering an ACL injury during pre-season, with Will Connors also named among the replacements.

Speaking ahead of the semi-final tie, McNamara said: ”The preparation has gone well this week.

“We know that Jersey are a good side. They’re going to be really well prepped and really up for it this weekend. We’re under no illusions as to the challenge that faces us.

“They were in the final last year against Munster and were unlucky not to come away with it. All you have to do is look at their results over the last few weeks; they went up to Bristol and were the only side that won at Ashton Gate this year in the Championship. That just reflects the quality of the side that they have.

“They’re capable of being very direct, very confrontational in their pack, but also they’ve got some real threats in their back three. It’s going to be a comprehensive test and we’re going to have to play very much at the peak of our powers if we want to get through to the final.”

Leinster ‘A’:

15. Ciarán Frawley
14. Adam Byrne
13. Gavin Mullin
12. Conor O’Brien
11. Tommy O’Brien
10. Cathal Marsh
9. Charlie Rock

1. Ed Byrne
2. Bryan Byrne (captain)
3. Vakh Abdaladze
4. Mick Kearney
5. Ian Nagle
6. Josh Murphy
7. Peadar Timmins
8. Caelan Doris

Replacements:

16. Sean McNulty
17. Peter Dooley
18. Oisín Dowling
19. Will Connors
20. Hugh O’Sullivan
21. Tom Daly
22. Jack Kelly

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