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Holland Leads Munster ‘A’ For Derby Duel

Holland Leads Munster ‘A’ For Derby Duel

Billy Holland, who came on as a second half replacement against Castres Olympique last Saturday, will captain the Munster ‘A’ side in their British & Irish Cup quarter-final against Ulster Ravens at Ravenhill on Friday (kick-off 7.30pm).

Munster ‘A’ defeated Ulster Ravens at the penultimate stage in the inaugural British & Irish Cup, with that game played at Thomond Park.

But they face a Ravens side who are unbeaten so far in this season’s competition, and head coach Ian Costello recognises the threat the Ulstermen will pose.

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“Ulster Rugby, in general, is on a high at the moment and the Ravens side have been going very well in the British & Irish Cup this year,” he said.

“There is a lot of talk about the quality of the players they have coming through their system and playing at Ravenhill is such a huge motivating factor for them.”

Commenting on his own selection, Costello explained: “As everyone is aware there has been a significant number of injuries within the senior squad, which has a knock on effect on the ‘A’ squad.

“A number of players who played in the group stages of the British & Irish Cup will not be available for the quarter-final, either through injury or promotion to the Munster seniors.

“This presents us with an opportunity to expose more Academy and Development players at this grade and test them at a higher level than they will have played in the past.”

Meanwhile, Australian centre Will Chambers will play his final game in Munster colours when he lines out at the Belfast venue.

Having signed on a three-month contract with Munster, he will return Down Under to take up a rugby league contract with Melbourne Storm.

Chambers made his debut in the RaboDirect PRO12 match against Aironi and came off the bench to score a try in the Heineken Cup encounter with Castres Olympique in Toulouse.

He will fly to Milton Keynes on Saturday as back-up to the senior side for their round 6 clash with Northampton Saints and fly home to his native Australia early next week.

MUNSTER ‘A’ (v Ulster Ravens): Sean Scanlon; Luke O’Dea, Will Chambers, JJ Hanrahan, Ronan O’Mahony; Scott Deasy, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Sean Henry, Christy Condon, Dave Foley, Ian Nagle, Billy Holland (capt), Brian O’Hara, Paddy Butler.

Replacements: Mike Sherry, John Ryan, Brian Hayes, Shane Buckley, Cathal Sheridan, Declan Cusack, Ivan Dineen.