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Leinster ‘A’ Change Front Row For Scarlets Rematch

Leinster ‘A’ Change Front Row For Scarlets Rematch

Leinster ‘A’ face the Scarlets Premiership Select in the second of their back-to-back British & Irish Cup fixtures in Carmarthen on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 2.30pm)

Leinster ‘A’ bounced back from defeat to Nottingham in round 2 of the B&I Cup to record an impressive 65-13 bonus point win over the Scarlets outfit at Donnybrook last weekend.

The Scarlets PS went into the game as pool leaders, taking bonus points from their opening two matches. But the home victory means Hugh Hogan’s side now sit top of the pool with three games played.

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“It was certainly pleasing to get that level of performance,” Leinster ‘A’ head coach Hogan told leinsterrugby.ie ahead of this weekend’s rematch in Wales.

“The intent we showed early in the game really set the tone for how we wanted to play. The other pleasing aspect was getting an 80-minute performance as well. We went into the week with the mentality knowing we’d let ourselves down against Nottingham in terms of our performance levels and wanted to put that right. It was really pleasing to see the ownership the playing group took from that, they realised ‘if we lose this game, we’re out of this competition’.”

Despite winning well last time out against the Scarlets PS, Hogan knows they will be no pushovers on their own patch, adding: “You look through that Scarlets teamsheet and they’ve got guys with a lot of PRO12, and even European Cup experience. We’re certainly expecting a tough game. I think we got ourselves right on the day, we had our mentality right and we played some good rugby.

“I’d certainly expect them at home, after having a chance to look back at the game, they’ll be a different animal. If we go over with the mindset of the game being easy or that a win is going to come to us without the work, then we’ll be in trouble. The ‘A’ team went over to play Carmarthen there two years ago and lost, so it is a hard place to go. You have to give them that respect.”

There are four changes to the Leinster ‘A’ side for Saturday’s clash at the Park. The front row that started last weekend’s clash at Donnybrook – Andrew Porter, Bryan Byrne and Jeremy Loughman – has been swapped out and replaced by Peter Dooley, Sean McNulty and Oisin Heffernan.

The other change sees Jack Power come in to start at full-back in place of Hugo Keenan. There are some interesting selections on the bench, with several club players given a chance to perform in the Leinster jersey.
Hogan explained: “If you look through our bench, you’ve got a number of guys who you’d respectfully call club players at the moment: Tyrone (Moran) from Lansdowne, Tony Ryan from Clontarf is our sub back row, Jamie Glynn from UCD, Conor Dean who is in our sub-Academy but he plays AIL for Mary’s, and Matt D’Arcy as well is an experienced player.

“Matt had that period with Munster, but he’s played on the Ireland Club team for the last few years and he’s been one of the top talents in the AIL for that period as well. It’s brilliant for us to be able to call upon that type of quality from the club game. It’s a good endorsement of the AIL that those type of players are there and they’re willing to give up their time to play as well.

“Our Academy staff watch the AIL games every week. We split up and attend a game each, but then we get the videos that we watch through. We watch our players and the other talent that’s out there. We’re very aware of the potential for a late developer to come through the club game.”

LEINSTER ‘A’ (v Scarlets Premiership Select): Jack Power; Jordan Larmour, Jack Kelly, Tom Daly, Barry Daly; Jimmy O’Brien, Charlie Rock; Peter Dooley, Sean McNulty, Oisín Heffernan, Mick Kearney, Ian Nagle, Peadar Timmins (capt), Dominic Ryan, Max Deegan.

Replacements: Tyrone Moran, Jeremy Loughman, David O’Connor, Tony Ryan, Jamie Glynn, Conor Dean, Matt D’Arcy.