Jump to main content


Kelly And O’Hagan Promoted To Ulster ‘A’ Team

Kelly And O’Hagan Promoted To Ulster ‘A’ Team

Ulster ‘A’ travel to Sardis Road this weekend to take on the Cardiff Blues Premiership Select in round 4 of the British & Irish Cup (kick-off 2.30pm).

Coaches Kieran Campbell and Willie Anderson have made five changes to the province’s starting line-up, including four in the back-line. Ulster ‘A’ overcame the same opposition 16-10 in the reverse fixture at Eaton Park last Friday.

Ireland Under-20 international Johnny McPhillips, who kicked 11 points in last week’s win, switches from fullback to out-half where he will strike up a half-back partnership with Dave Shanahan.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

There is a new back-three featuring the sole try scorer last weekend, Jack Owens, who makes the move from wing to full-back. David Busby, who impressed as a second half replacement in Ballymena, is rewarded with a starting berth on the left wing, while Conor Kelly will make his first start of the campaign on the right flank. Mark Best and Rory Butler, who both had bright spells in the round 3 tussle, retain their spots in midfield.

There is just one change in the pack as Hughes Insurance Academy prop Tommy O’Hagan, who featured prominently as a replacement last week, comes in at loosehead prop to join Jonny Simpson and John Andrew in the front row, with the latter once again captaining the side from hooker.

Ballymena duo Connor Smyth and Stephen Mulholland continue together in the engine room, while the familiar faces of Nick Timoney, Conor Joyce and Lorcan Dow will make up the back row.

With Ulster ‘A’ currently sitting joint top of Pool 1 with London Scottish on 10 points after three games, a win this weekend is crucial as the Ulstermen chase automatic qualification for the knockout stages.

ULSTER ‘A’ (v Cardiff Blues Premiership Select): Jack Owens; Conor Kelly, Rory Butler, Mark Best, David Busby; Johnny McPhillips, Dave Shanahan; Tommy O’Hagan, John Andrew (capt), Jonny Simpson, Connor Smyth, Stephen Mulholland, Nick Timoney, Conor Joyce, Lorcan Dow.

Replacements: Jonny Murphy, Peter Cooper, John McCusker, Zack McCall, Jonny Stewart, Brett Herron, Josh Jordan.