Fit-again hooker Richardt Strauss will start for Leinster ‘A’ when they face Munster ‘A’ in Saturday’s interprovincial match at Donnybrook (kick-off 1pm).
The ‘A’ encounter will be the first time Richardt Strauss has worn a Leinster jersey since last May’s PRO12 match against Edinburgh He will joined in the front row by Peter Dooley and Oisin Heffernan.
Tom Denton will captain Leinster ‘A’, playing in the second row with Gavin Thornbury. The back row sees Jordan Coghlan and Josh van der Flier flank their UCD colleague Peadar Timmins.
Lansdowne’s Cian Kelleher, who scored his first senior try for Leinster in a pre-season friendly against Northampton Saints back in August, will start at full-back. UCD flyers Sam Coghlan Murray and Adam Byrne complete the back three.
Tom Daly and Colm O’Shea will start in midfield just a week on from facing either in the Lansdowne v Clontarf Ulster Bank League game, while Nick McCarthy and Cathal Marsh have been selected together at half-back.
Saturday’s match will be the first Leinster game on the new 4G pitch at Donnybrook, and no better way to christen it than with a game against the old enemy. Supporters can pay at the gate for the ‘A’ interpro with entry from €;10 (free admission for Leinster Season Ticket holders).
Meanwhile, Mick O’Driscoll’s selected Munster ‘A’ team side features a mix of youthful Academy talent combined with the experience of some of the province’s leading players, including Donncha O’Callaghan, Ivan Dineen, Ronan O’Mahony and Johne Murphy who are all named in gaining valuable game-time.
Senior players Alan Cotter and Kevin O’Byrne pack down alongside Academy tighthead prop Rory Burke in the front row.
While, in the second row, O’Callaghan brings a wealth of experience to the Munster ‘A’ pack and he renews his pre-season partnership with the Academy’s Sean McCarthy – the pair team up for the second time this season having done so already in a pre-season friendly away to Gloucester.
Senior squad members Shane Buckley and Barry O’Mahony take responsibility for the flanks with recent Ireland Under-20 captain and Academy number 8 Jack O’Donoghue completing the back row.
Waterford youngster O’Donoghue made impressive appearances for Munster in his first two GUINNESS PRO12 encounters this season and will captain the ‘A’ team.
The mixture of experience and emerging talent is again illustrated in the half-backs as Cathal Sheridan partners Academy out-half David Johnston who featured for Munster in both of this year’s pre-season friendlies against Gloucester and London Irish.
Academy back Rory Scannell joins Ivan Dineen in midfield and the all-senior back-three sees Luke O’Dea and Ronan O’Mahony on the wings with Johne Murphy named at full-back.
LEINSTER ‘A’: Cian Kelleher; Sam Coghlan Murray, Colm O’Shea, Tom Daly, Adam Byrne; Cathal Marsh, Nick McCarthy; Peter Dooley, Richardt Strauss, Oisin Heffernan, Tom Denton (capt), Gavin Thornbury, Jordan Coghlan, Josh van der Flier, Peadar Timmins.
Replacements: Tyrone Moran, Sean McCarthy, Jeremy Loughman, Ross Molony, Jack Dwan, Luke McGrath, Ross Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin.
MUNSTER ‘A’: Johne Murphy; Ronan O’Mahony, Ivan Dineen, Rory Scannell, Luke O’Dea; David Johnston, Cathal Sheridan; Alan Cotter, Kevin O’Byrne, Rory Burke, Donncha O’Callaghan, Sean McCarthy, Shane Buckley, Barry O’Mahony, Jack O’Donoghue (capt).
Replacements: Max Abbott, Eusebio Guinazu, John Madigan, Ryan Murphy, Jamie Glynn, Dan Goggin, Alex Wootton.