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Leinster ‘A’ Face Crawshays

Leinster ‘A’ Face Crawshays

The Leinster ‘A’ and Crawshays teams to face each other in a friendly at Donnybrook on Friday (kick-off 7pm) have been named.

Fresh from making his first senior start for the province in last weekend’s Magners League win over Connacht, Felix Jones has been named on the wing for Leinster ‘A’ in an exciting back-line that includes Fionn Carr and Ross McCarron.

Gary Brown and Michael Berne start at centre after impressing in recent weeks for the Leinster senior team, while Ireland ‘A’ scrum half Chris Keane partners Greystones clubman James Power at half-back.

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In the pack, back rower Sean O’Brien captains the side and is included alongside Cameron Jowitt and Kevin McLaughlin who have both been involved with the senior squad in recent weeks.

Ronan McCormack lines up in the front row alongside Brian Blaney and Stephen Knoop with Devin Toner partnering former Leinster Under-20 Interpro-winning captain Conor McInerney in the second row.

Speaking ahead of the game, Leinster ‘A’ coach Colin McEntee said that his squad is determined to stake their claims for selection as the senior squad gear up for a final assault on the Magners League title in the coming weeks.

“Preparation has gone well this week and Friday night’s game is an opportunity to impress, perform strongly against a competitive side and to push for a place in the senior panel,” he said.

“There may not be points to play for as such, but there will be pride and we will be fielding as strong a team as possible so that the players can show off their ability.

“It’s an important game for us. The Crawshays are an exciting side who play the game in an open, attacking manner, similar to the Barbarians. 

“What the ‘A’ system does is provide our players with the opportunity to gain experience at a competitive level, away from the domestic club game, and to develop and show off their wares.?

Meanwhile, the Crawshays will field a mixture of professional and semi-professional players, including six full internationals – Nathan Brew, Arwel Thomas, Hywel Jenkins and Adam Jones of Wales, and Bruce Douglas of Scotland and Tonga’s Hale T’Pole.

They will be buoyed by an 80-strong group from the Dublin Welsh Male Voice Choir who will be singing crowd favourites at Donnybrook on the eve of the Ireland v Wales Six Nations match.

Founded in 1922, the roll of honour of famous players to have represented the Crawshays includes: JPR Williams, Phil Bennett, JJ Williams, Bobby Windsor, Graham Price, Allan Bateman and Scott Gibbs from Wales.

The list also includes ex-Leinster scrum half Guy Easterby, Irish stars Paul Burke, Moss Keane and Moss Finn, Wilson Lauder and John Jeffrey from Scotland and England duo Julian White and Pat Sanderson. 

The Leinster ‘A’ side will face Munster at Donnybrook next Wednesday (kick-off 2pm). There is free entry for all Leinster ‘A’ games for Leinster Season Ticket holders upon presentation of their 2007/08 membership card and there is free entrance for all children (Under-16) accompanied by an adult for Friday’s game.


15 – Ross McCarron
14 – Fionn Carr
13 – Gary Brown
12 – Michael Berne
11 – Felix Jones
10 – James Power
9 – Chris Keane
1 – Ronan McCormack
2 – Brian Blaney
3 – Stephen Knoop
4 – Devin Toner
5 – Conor McInerney
6 – Cameron Jowitt
7 – Sean O’Brien (capt)
8 – Kevin McLaughlin


16 – Juan Francisco Gomez
17 – Richie Sweeney
18 – Jamie Hagan
19 – Richie Leyden
20 – Cillian Willis
21 – Ian Keatley
22 – Shane Monahan

Coach: Colin McEntee, Assistant coach: Richie Murphy, Manager: Michael Kearney


15 – Aled Thomas (Dragons)
14 – Jamie Jones (Glamorgan Wanderers)
13 – Dafydd Hewitt (Cardiff Blues)
12 – Andrew Bishop (Ospreys)
11 – Nathan Brew (Scarlets & Wales)
10 – Shaun Connor (Ospreys)
9 – Wayne Evans (Dragons)
1 – Cai Griffiths (Ospreys)
2 – Craig Hawkins (Llanelli)
3 – Bruce Douglas (Scarlets & Scotland)
4 – Adam Jones (Dragons & Wales)
5 – Lyndon Bateman (Ospreys)
6 – Hywel Jenkins (London Welsh & Wales)
7 – Hale T’Pole (Ospreys & Tonga)
8 – Tom Smith (Ospreys) (capt)


16 – Ed Shirvington (Ospreys)
17 – Alex Murphy (Glamorgan Wanderers)
18 – Michael Collins (Ospreys)
19 – Rhys Jones (Lansdowne)
20 – Alex Walker (Dragons)
21 – Alec Jenkins (Llanelli)
22 – Arwel Thomas (Neath & Wales)

Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU)