Ireland’s Ulster Bank Club International squad to face England Counties on St. Patrick’s Day has been announced by head coach Morgan Lennon.
Players from nine different Ulster Bank League clubs have been included by new coaches Morgan Lennon and Johne Murphy for next Friday’s clash with England Counties at Temple Hill in Cork (kick-off 7.30pm)
Reigning Division 1A champions Clontarf have five representatives in Ben Reilly, Matt D’Arcy, Tony Ryan, Vakh Abdaladze and Karl Moran. Host club Cork Constitution, last year’s runners-up, will be cheering on their own Max Abbott, Rob Jermyn and Ger Sweeney.
Five players from current table toppers Lansdowne have made the cut – Stephen Gardiner, Willie Earle, Scott Deasy, Eamonn Mills and Ian Prendiville – and there are two each from Garryowen (Andrew O’Byrne and Neil Cronin), Old Belvedere (Sean Coughlan and Paul Pritchard) and Young Munster (Alan Kennedy and Rob Guerin).
Dublin University’s Michael Courtney and Eric O’Sullivan are part of the a Club International squad for the first time. Their Trinity club-mate Paddy Finlay returns after playing against Scotland Clubs at the same venue last year.
Terenure College captain Kyle McCoy and goal-kicking scrum half Peter Osborne, who has impressed for Division 1B side Naas this season, complete the 24-man panel.
Old Wesley head coach Lennon takes over the coaching reins this year from Old Belvedere’s Paul Cunningham, with Naas player-coach Murphy assisting him. Maurice Hartery from Thomond is the team manager.
This will be Ireland’s first meeting with England at this level since February 2014 when Clontarf’s David Joyce kicked an injury-time penalty to guide the men in green to a memorable 23-22 victory in Darlington.
Ireland Club XV v England Counties tickets will be available at the gate at Temple Hill and are priced at €;20 (family), €;10 (adults) and €;5 (students). Tickets can also be purchased at the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices at Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, and from Finns Corner on the corner of Grand Parade & Washington Street. Credit cards are not accepted.
IRELAND ULSTER BANK CLUB INTERNATIONAL SQUAD (v England Counties, Ulster Bank Club International Match, Temple Hill, Cork Constitution FC, Friday, March 17, kick-off 7.30pm):
Max Abbott (Cork Constitution)
Vakh Abdaladze (Clontarf)
Sean Coughlan (Old Belvedere) *
Michael Courtney (Dublin University)
Neil Cronin (Garryowen) *
Matt D’Arcy (Clontarf) *
Scott Deasy (Lansdowne) *
Willie Earle (Lansdowne)
Paddy Finlay (Dublin University) *
Stephen Gardiner (Lansdowne)
Rob Guerin (Young Munster)
Rob Jermyn (Cork Constitution)
Alan Kennedy (Young Munster)
Kyle McCoy (Terenure College)
Eamonn Mills (Lansdowne)
Karl Moran (Clontarf)
Andrew O’Byrne (Garryowen)
Peter Osborne (Naas)
Eric O’Sullivan (Dublin University)
Ian Prendiville (Lansdowne) *
Paul Pritchard (Old Belvedere) *
Ben Reilly (Clontarf) *
Tony Ryan (Clontarf) *
Ger Sweeney (Cork Constitution) *
* Denotes previously-capped player at this level
IRELAND ULSTER BANK CLUB INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT:
Head Coach – Morgan Lennon
Team Manager – Maurice Hartery
Assistant Coach – Johne Murphy
Baggage Master – David Jermyn
Doctor – Stuart O’Flanagan
Physio – Ailbe McCormack
S&C Coach – Cathal Murtagh
Team Services – Rory Wilson