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Munster and Connacht name teams for opening Celtic Cup games

All four of the provinces’ ‘A’ teams are in action this weekend.

Munster academy prop James French starts on Friday.
Munster academy prop James French starts on Friday.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

MUNSTER HAVE INCLUDED three academy players in their ‘A’ matchday squad to play Ospreys Development in the opening round of the Celtic Cup at Musgrave Park on Friday evening [KO 7.30pm].

Prop James French and second rows Paddy Kelly and Eoin O’Connor are included in Peter Malone’s 23 for tomorrow’s clash in Cork, while Connacht have named a youthful Eagles team for the visit of Dragons to the Sportsground.

As expected, it is a new-look Munster ‘A’ team for the start of the 2019 Celtic Cup campaign, with just Kelly and Charlie O’Doherty returning from last season.

Both will make their starting debuts tomorrow evening, with Bandon RFC’s Jack Crowley captaining the side.

Meanwhile, several Connacht academy players have been handed the chance to stake their claim for early-season selection when the Eagles begin their Celtic Cup season in Galway [KO 2pm].

The side is captained by hooker Jonny Murphy and Connacht’s starting XV includes senior capped players Stephen Kerins, Cillian Gallagher and Conor Dean, while Peter Sullivan — on trial at the province after his prolific season with Lansdowne in the AIL last year — starts on the wing. 

Peter Sullivan runs in a try Peter Sullivan starts for Connacht 'A'. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

In a change to last year’s format, this year’s Celtic Cup is a straight league format with each team playing seven games and the top two ranked sides advancing to the final on Saturday 12 October.  

Leinster ‘A’ are in Cardiff on Saturday, while Ulster also begin their campaign against Welsh opposition in the form of Scarlets.

Munster ‘A’ (v Ospreys):

15. Rob Hedderman
14. Matt Bowen
13. Louis Bruce
12. Tommy Downes
11. Ronan Quinn
10. Jack Crowley (captain)
9. Charlie O’Doherty

1. James French
2. Scott Buckley
3. Corrie Barrett
4. Kevin Seymour
5. Paddy Kelly
6. Cian Hurley
7. David Hyland
8. Luke Clohessy.

Replacements:

16. Kieran O’Shea
17. Aaron Hennessy
18. Luke Masters
19. Eoin O’Connor
20. Conor Mitchell
21. Kevin O’Connor
22. Maccon Casserly
23. Pa Ryan.  

Connacht Eagles (v Dragons):

15. Conor Hayes
14. Hugh Lane
13. Seán O’Brien
12. Luke Carty
11. Peter Sullivan
10. Conor Dean
9. Stephen Kerins

1. Matthew Burke
2. Jonny Murphy (captain)
3. Conor Kenny
4. Niall Murray
5. Cillian Gallagher
6. Seán Masterson
7. Lucas Culliton
8. Mikey Wilson.

Replacements:

16. Dylan Tierney-Martin
17. Conor Maguire
18. Ryan Lomas
19. Cormac Daly
20. Declan Adamson
21. Aran Hehir
22. Dylan Prendergast
23. Diarmuid Kilgannen.

Celtic Cup fixtures:

Friday 23 August:

  • Connacht v Dragons, Sportsground, 2pm
  • Munster v Ospreys, Musgrave Park, 7.30pm

Saturday 24 August:

  • Scarlets v Ulster, Llandovery RFC, 2.30pm
  • Cardiff Blues v Leinster, Cardiff Arms Park, 2.30pm

Murray joins Bernard and Gavan with all the latest from training camp in Portugal, including a concerning update on Joey Carbery’s fitness. Plus, BBC Scotland’s Tom English explains why the Scots have a negative perception of Joe Schmidt’s Ireland team.


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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