Ireland Club XV coaches Conor Twomey and David Murphy have finalised the 22-man squad for the Ireland Club XV v England Counties game at Cork Constitution FC on Friday night (kick-off 7.30pm).
Cork Constitution’s own Gerry Hurley will captain the side and will be partnered at half-back by Craig Ronaldson of Division 1A leaders Lansdowne.
The back-line has a depth of experience from last season with the half-backs and the centre partnership of Stuart Morrow and Killian Lett.
New caps Darragh Fanning, Tim McCoy and Richie Mullane make up an exciting back-three.
The Ireland management have added Ben Reilly and William Ryan to the squad due to injuries sustained in the Ulster Bank League last weekend.
Reilly comes into the second row with Ryan positioned at blindside flanker. Ed Kelly packs down alongside Reilly in the second row, while Ryan joins Danny Kenny and the highly experience Frank Cogan in the back row. Cogan has captained the Club side in recent seasons.
Colm McMahon and Kevin Griffin will prop down either side of the experience Ger Slattery in the front row.
In all, there are 12 Ulster Bank League clubs represented from the top two divisions in the 22-man squad.
There is a strong bench and in particular Dolphin’s prolific points scorer, Barry Keeshan, and his previous playing half-back playing partner Sam Cronin are a combination that could be a factor in the outcome of the result on Friday should the opportunity arise.
Cork Constitution FC President Finian O’Driscoll said: “We are delighted to welcome the two teams to Temple Hill for this special occasion as we mark the opening of our new clubhouse.
“It promises to be a great evening for all the family with some of the best players from the club game involved. We hope to see thousands of supporters in Cork Con on Friday night.”
IRELAND CLUB XV Team & Replacements (v England Counties, Ulster Bank Club International, Temple Hill, Friday, February 8, kick-off 7.30pm):
15. Richie Mullane (Shannon)
14. Tim McCoy (Clontarf)
13. Killian Lett (Clontarf)
12. Stuart Morrow (Ballynahinch)
11. Darragh Fanning (St. Mary’s College)
10. Craig Ronaldson (Lansdowne)
9. Gerry Hurley (Cork Constitution) (capt)
1. Colm McMahon (St. Mary’s College)
2. Ger Slattery (Young Munster)
3. Kevin Griffin (Shannon)
4. Ed Kelly (UL Bohemians)
5. Ben Reilly (Clontarf)
6. William Ryan (UCC)
7. Danny Kenny (UCD)
8. Frank Cogan (Clontarf)
16. Pat O’Regan (Old Belvedere)
17. Risteard Byrne (UCD)
18. Glenn Moore (Malone)
19. Neville Melbourne (Young Munster)
20. Sam Cronin (Clontarf)
21. Barry Keeshan (Dolphin)
22. James Thompson (Ballynahinch)