Munster ‘A’ head coach Mick O’Driscoll has named his team and replacements to face Moseley in Saturday’s British & Irish Cup opener at Clonmel RFC (kick-off 3pm).
Munster ‘A’ last opened their British & Irish Cup campaign in Clonmel RFC in November 2011 against Cornish Pirates and coincidentally, their current head coach Mick O’Driscoll made his Munster ‘A’ debut that very night.
“I made my ‘A’ debut at the age of 32 alongside Peter Stringer in Clonmel. We both needed game-time and ended up making our ‘A’ debuts together. We lost against Cornish Pirates after they were awarded a penalty try in the last minute of the game,” said O’Driscoll.
He will be looking for a different outcome on this occasion as his side gets set to face English Championship side Moseley, who are coached by former Ireland international Kevin Maggs.
“We are fielding a good blend of young guys and the more experienced senior squad members. It’s important that these guys get some game-time and put in a performance because we want to be competing in the latter stages of the competition.
“I’ve seen a good bit of Moseley. They are a good side who are struggling a bit in the Championship which is always dangerous because you know they are due a performance. They are like any English side – big, physical and upfront.”
With players promoted to the PRO12 squad for tonight’s encounter with the Scarlets, O’Driscoll is forced to reshuffle his squad from last weekend’s inteprovincial win over Leinster ‘A’ and makes seven changes to the starting line-up.
Alan Cotter and Rory Burke retain their places in the front row and are joined by Max Abbott who featured as replacement hooker last Saturday, while in the second row Sean McCarthy stays put and is paired with Shane Buckley who makes a positional switch from blindside flanker.
Tipperary native Paddy Butler is added to the squad this week and starts in the back row alongside Barry O’Mahony and Jack O’Donoghue, with the latter once again captaining the side from number 8.
Rory Scannell moves from inside centre to out-half where he features alongside Cathal Sheridan, while Luke O’Dea keeps his place on the right wing.
Young Academy player Stephen Fitzgerald makes his British & Irish Cup debut at full-back, Cork Constitution centre and former Academy player Niall Kenneally joins Dan Goggin in the centre and Academy winger Greg O’Shea is also set for his first British & Irish Cup appearance.
In the replacements, O’Driscoll has called on the services of Cork Con hooker Andrew O’Driscoll and out-half Tomás Quinlan. Midleton prop and former contracted player Christy Condon is also included.
Tickets will be available on match day at the ground – €;10 for adults, €;3 for kids and €;20 for families (2 adults & 2 children). There is free entry to all MRSC members and Ten Year Ticket holders (on production of your membership card or ticket book).
MUNSTER ‘A’ (v Moseley): Stephen Fitzgerald; Luke O’Dea, Dan Goggin, Niall Kenneally, Greg O’Shea; Rory Scannell, Cathal Sheridan; Alan Cotter, Max Abbott, Rory Burke, Shane Buckley, Sean McCarthy, Paddy Butler, Barry O’Mahony, Jack O’Donoghue (capt).
Replacements: Andrew O’Driscoll, Christy Condon, Darragh Moloney, Ryan Murphy, Jamie Glynn, Tomás Quinlan, Alex Wootton.