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Club Stars Gear Up For Scottish Challenge

Club Stars Gear Up For Scottish Challenge

The cream of AIB League talent will be on show at Donnybrook on Friday (kick-off 7pm) as the Ireland Club team take on their Scottish counterparts in a mouth-watering AIB Club International clash.

Friday’s game against the Scotland Club XV simply could not come quick enough for David O’Mahony’s Ireland charges, after their gutsy 29-25 loss to England Counties at Stourbridge RFC.

Hitting back with four tries in the second half, the Irish had the winning of that game but unfortunately time ran out on their comeback bid and the Counties side held on.

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Head coach O’Mahony was not too disheartened when speaking afterwards to IrishRugby.ie, with the players having only had three training sessions together in the build-up.

Now, Sam Cronin and his colleagues face into another exciting challenge as they welcome familiar foes Scotland to Donnybrook, the venue for the first ever AIB Club International match back in March 2006.

Scotland were also the visitors four years ago for that historic encounter, which saw Ireland run out 30-13 winners.

The Scotland Club side beat Ireland 18-11 back on home soil in 2007, and the sides have swapped victories over the past two seasons with Ireland winning 20-15 at Donnybrook in 2008 and the Scots triumphing on a 31-18 scoreline at Watsonians twelve months ago.

O’Mahony and Cronin will be hoping that home advantage can help the men in green get back to winning ways on Friday, with the likes of Stephen Kelly, a two-try hero against England, and club international debutant Zack Farivarz hoping to impress.

There will be live and exclusive web-only coverage of Friday’s AIB Club International tie from Donnybrook on the RTE website. The live streaming, available on the island of Ireland only, starts at 6.55pm with commentary from Ryle Nugent.

Speaking ahead of the game, scrum half Cronin said: “Scotland are a hugely physical team, they’ve a few semi pros in their side and that shows. They bring great intensity to the game.

“We’ll be all the better for our recent game against England Counties. Individually, we’re all good footballers and have good heads on our shoulders.

“With representative teams like this, a lot of the players are leaders in their clubs. That kinda shows, the talk is important with such a scratch team – the communication in defence and attack.

“After our improved second half performance against England, I’d be quietly confident going into the Scotland game that we can get the right result,” he added.