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Strauss Returns From Knee Surgery For Leinster ‘A’

Strauss Returns From Knee Surgery For Leinster ‘A’

Ahead of Saturday’s British & Irish Cup round 2 game against Nottingham at Donnybrook (kick-off 3pm), Leinster ‘A’ head coach Hugh Hogan has announced a team that is looking to build on last week’s impressive win away to Richmond.

Speaking to leinsterrugby.ie ahead of this weekend’s game, Hugh Hogan said: “It was pleasing to get the win over in Richmond in the first round of the British & Irish Cup and there were certainly some good aspects in the game, but we know that we have to improve in several key areas this week for the visit of Nottingham.

“They are a side with quality through out the team and the pose threats right across the park. Ian Costello is an excellent coach and he has brought an expansive and fast-paced style of game to Nottingham this season since moving from Munster.

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“It is evident from watching their Championship matches this year that Ian has already had a big impact. Of course they have a few Irish players in their squad too, most notably Shane Buckley and Jordan Coghlan, and I’m sure they’ll be keen to impress at Donnybrook on Saturday.”

There are six changes in total to the Leinster ‘A’ side that ran out comprehensive 68-19 winners away in Richmond. Clontarf’s Jack Power comes in at full-back for his first taste of B&I Cup action this season, with Hugo Keenan again selected on the right wing and Barry Daly, who got two tries last weekend, on the left.

Ireland Sevens captain Tom Daly comes back in after injury to take over the number 13 jersey, with UCD’s Jimmy O’Brien, who also bagged a brace against Richmond, continuing at inside centre. Two former St. Michael’s College students, Nick McCarthy and Ross Byrne, are retained at half-back. 

There are two changes in the front row with Ireland hooker Richardt Strauss making his first appearance of the season after knee surgery. Andrew Porter also starts at loosehead prop, with Jeremy Loughman continuing at tighthead. 

Having played in last week’s Champions Cup game against Castres, Ross Molony comes into the second row to partner James Ryan. The final addition sees Josh Murphy start at blindside flanker, linking up with openside and captain Peadar Timmins and Ireland international Jack Conan at number 8.

Hogan added: “We are fortunate to be able to name a team with a good blend of senior experience and talented youth. Richardt Strauss returns after a long lay-off and Jack Conan again lines out at number 8 after returning from injury last week.

“Ross Molony has a lot of senior experience and will exert a controlling influence in the pack; Tom Daly also returns at centre having had a cracking game against Ulster ‘A’ two weeks ago.

“It is also a brilliant learning experience for the younger guys to play with senior players and see their attention to detail and preparation first hand. First Year Academy players James Ryan, Jimmy O’Brien, Hugo Keenan and Jack Power all start while Jordan Larmour, who is still at Under-20 level, will get another opportunity from the bench. Peadar Timmins, who is in Year Three of the Academy, captains the team for the second season. 

“I expect a tough challenge this week but this should be a cracking game. You are likely to see two attack-minded sides with ambition to play at pace. It is important that we improve on our accuracy and our patience with the ball because last week’s performance is not going to be good enough this week.”

Tickets for Leinster ‘A’ v Nottingham will be available at the gate (adults: €;10, students: €;5 and kids go free) and all Leinster Rugby Season Ticket Holders can avail of free entry as long as they produce their Season Ticket card to the stewards on the gate.

LEINSTER ‘A’ (v Nottingham): Jack Power; Hugo Keenan, Jimmy O’Brien, Tom Daly, Barry Daly; Ross Byrne, Nick McCarthy; Andrew Porter, Richardt Strauss, Jeremy Loughman, Ross Molony, James Ryan, Josh Murphy, Peadar Timmins (capt), Jack Conan.

Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Oisín Heffernan, Hayden Triggs, Max Deegan, Charlie Rock, Cathal Marsh, Jordan Larmour.