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Cunningham Makes Return With Ulster Ravens

Cunningham Makes Return With Ulster Ravens

Ulster Ravens coach Neil Doak has named his starting line-up and replacements for their final British & Irish Cup Pool C match against Aberavon at Ravenhill on Friday (kick-off 7.30pm).

A win over Aberavon will secure a semi-final place for Ulster Ravens in the the inaugural British & Irish Cup.

Ulster Ravens team manager Gary Longwell understands how important playing at Ravenhill is and the encouragement that the famed Ulster supporters can contribute on match night.

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“We all know the Ulster fans are brilliant, and that playing at Ravenhill always gives Ulster sides a great advantage,” he said.

“We need to get the Ulster supporters talking about how good these Ravens games are, how strong the Ulster side is.

“It is not a thrown together team, these are not average players playing, it’s really high quality players playing for Ulster in a very important competition.

“I really hope the supporters come out to back us, and again next week when the senior team plays the Ospreys.”

The Ravens welcome full-back Bryn Cunningham back to full fitness, following his recovery from a long term hamstring injury.

Cunningham is joined in the back-three by Mark McCrea and Tommy Seymour, who have both scored tries in Ulster’s pool campaign.

Michael Allen and Ian Whitten continue their centre partnership, while scrum half Cillian Willis will partner Niall O’Connor at half-back. 

Up front, the Ravens pack has a very solid look, with Andi Kyriacou returning as hooker to captain the team, alongside his front row colleagues Bryan Young and Declan Fitzpatrick.

Neil McComb and Ed O’Donoghue link up in the second row, while there is one change in the back row – Dublin University clubman Scott La Valla makes his second Ravens appearance after his impressive debut against Leinster ‘A’ recently.

The replacements bench has an experienced edge, and Queen’s University and Phoenix Ulster Rugby Academy prop Paul Karayiannis and flanker Mark Robinson have also made the matchday 22.

Click here to buy Ulster Ravens v Aberavon tickets online, or call the Ulster Rugby Ticket line on tel: 028 90 493222, Option 2 (Monday to Friday, 10am-12pm) or visit the Ticket Office at Ravenhill (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, 4pm on match nights).

Tickets will be available to purchase on the gates from 6pm on Friday night and are priced at £10 (adult) and £3 (children).

ULSTER RAVENS (v Aberavon): Bryn Cunningham; Mark McCrea, Michael Allen, Ian Whitten, Tommy Seymour; Niall O’Connor, Cillian Willis; Bryan Young, Andi Kyriacou (capt), Declan Fitzpatrick, Neil McComb, Ed O’Donoghue, Thomas Anderson, Scott La Valla, Robbie Diack.

Replacements: Nigel Brady, Paul Karayiannis, Dan Tuohy, Mark Robinson, Paul Marshall, Ian Humphreys, Chris Cochrane.