Ulster Ravens manager Gary Longwell has announced the starting line-up and replacements for Sunday’s friendly match against the Ireland Under-20s at UCD’s 4G all-weather pitch (kick-off 2.30pm).
As the Ulster Ravens prepare for their next series of games in the British & Irish Cup, Sunday’s fixture against the Ireland Under-20 side will give the Ulster management a chance to have a good look at the young talent on show.
Speaking about the game, Ravens manager Gary Longwell said: “This is a young Ravens team with a number of new faces mixed in with established Ulster squad members and Phoenix Ulster Rugby Academy players.
“Ballymena’s Steve Castle gets a run in the centre beside Michael Allen who, along with full-back Paddy Robinson, caught the eye in the past two Schools Cup finals playing for Methody.
“Niall Annett makes a welcome return following an elbow injury at the start of the season, and will captain the side from hooker.
“Paddy McAllister, Adam Macklin, James Sandford, Neil McComb and Ali Birch have all featured for the Ravens already this season and with Paul Marshall at scrum half, they are sure to be kept on their toes.
“The bench also has considerable talent available with Niall O’Connor’s younger brother Mark and Ballymena’s Tommy Seymour ready to add plenty of pace to the proceedings.
“Instonians flanker Paddy Marks is the back row cover along with Ballynahinch second row James Simpson.
“Dungannon scrum half Jason Bloomfield is cover for Marshall with Dromore’s Jonny Simpson on standby should Malone prop Darryl Maxwell not pass a late fitness test.”
ULSTER RAVENS (v Ireland U-20): Paddy Robinson; Roger McBurney, Michael Allen, Steve Castle, Craig Gilroy; James Thompson, Paul Marshall; Paddy McAllister, Niall Annett (capt), Adam Macklin, James Sandford, Neil McComb, Stephen Leckey, Ali Birch, Stephen Mulholland.
Replacements: Darryl Maxwell/Johnny Simpson, Andy Warrick, James Simpson, Paddy Marks, Jason Bloomfield, Mark O’Connor, Tommy Seymour.