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Irish Colleges Team Announced For English Test

Irish Colleges Team Announced For English Test

Players from all four provinces will come together to line out for the Irish Colleges side in Friday night’s international clash with England Students at Kingston Park Stadium in Newcastle (kick-off 7.30pm).

The Irish Colleges, sponsored by Treasury Holdings, had a disappointing run-out against the French Students recently, going down 60-11 in Barbezieux.

Captained by Blackrock College back rower Alex Dunlop, the Irish side had early penalties from Blackrock out-half James Power against the French, while Clontarf lock Ben Reilly notched the visitors’ only try.

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There have been a number of changes in personnel for Friday’s game against England Students in Newcastle.

Buccaneers clubman Conor Lavelle comes into the starting line-up at full-back, with Paul Harte switching to centre where he partners the promoted Phil De Barra.

There are two new wingers introduced, with Conor Conroy and Ross Williamson hoping to impress, and Conor Murphy and Hugo Nolan form a new-look half-back partnership.

The pack is unchanged, with Clontarf duo Michael Kearney and Ben Reilly linking up in the second row and skipper Alex Dunlop anchoring the scrum.

Coleraine University scrum half Andrew Winder and Buccaneers forward duo Gavin Kelly and Benny McManus have been added to the replacements bench, along with IT Carlow student Andrew Kenny.

An injury-time try gave England Students a 13-10 victory when these sides met at City of Derry RFC last year – click here to read the match report.

With over 25,000 students in the third level Colleges across Ireland, the Colleges game has been identified as a key development area as part of the IRFU’s Strategic Plan 2012.

The Irish Colleges Rugby Union incorporates Universities, Agricultural Colleges and Institutes of Technology, Army and Garda Colleges along with other third level Instituitons.

39 Universities and Colleges and 750 students are involved at this level, covering urban and rural Ireland both north and south.

IRISH COLLEGES (v England Students): Conor Lavelle (Athlone IT); Conor Conroy (NUI Galway), Paul Harte (Athlone IT), Phil De Barra (IT Carlow), Ross Williamson (IT Carlow); Conor Murphy (NUI Galway), Hugo Nolan (DCU); Jarleth Naughton (GMIT), Wayne Falvey (Cork IT), Sean Preston (DIT), Michael Kearney (IT Carlow), Ben Reilly (DCU), John Dever (Garda College), Ross Hackney (UUJ), Alex Dunlop (IT Tallaght) (capt).

Replacements: Andrew Ferguson (Belfast Metropolitan College), Gavin Kelly (Athlone IT), Benny McManus (Athlone IT), Cathal Deans (IT Tallaght), Andrew Winder (UUC), Andrew Kenny (IT Carlow).