Munster ‘A’ stepped up their preparations for Friday’s British & Irish Cup final with a training session in Cork this morning. Afterwards, head coach Ian Costello named an extended squad for the clash with Cross Keys at Musgrave Park (kick-off 5.30pm).
The selected Munster ‘A’ panel includes six players from the RaboDirect PRO12 squad that drew with the Scarlets last Saturday, as well as Billy Holland, Denis Hurley and John Ryan who travelled over to Wales as cover.
Holland is likely to captain the Munster ‘A’ side for the province’s second ever British & Irish Cup final appearance, which will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 2 on Friday.
Holland, head coach Ian Costello and team manager Niall O’Donovan were among the crowd at the Talbot Athletic Ground for Aberavon’s Principality Premiership game with Friday’s opponents Cross Keys.
It proved to be a less than revealing visit however, as the Cross Keys side listed in the match programme bore no resemblance whatsoever to the one that took to the pitch.
The final scoreline – 79-25 in Aberavon’s favour – suggests that none of those who played in Port Talbot will be bringing their kit bags with them to Cork this week, with the Cross Keys management keeping their leading lights wrapped up in cotton wool ahead of the final.
Costello is expected to name the Munster ‘A’ team for the final after training in the University of Limerick on Wednesday.
MUNSTER ‘A’ Squad (v Cross Keys) – Backs (12): Denis Hurley, Sean Scanlon, Ronan O’Mahony, Luke O’Dea, Danny Barnes, Tom Gleeson, Ivan Dineen, JJ Hanrahan, Scott Deasy, Declan Cusack, Cathal Sheridan, Duncan Williams.
Forwards (15): Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Stephen Archer, Peter Borlase, Christy Condon, Sean Henry, Denis Fogarty, Brian Hayes, Ian Nagle, Philip Donnellan, Billy Holland, David O’Callaghan, Barry O’Mahony, Brian O’Hara, Paddy Butler.