As his charges set about defending their British & Irish Cup title, Munster ‘A’ head coach Peter Malone has named his team for Saturday’s round 1 match against the Ospreys Premiership Select at St. Helen’s (kick-off 2.30pm).
Eight of the side that featured in last April’s memorable B&I Cup final win over Jersey Reds are named in the matchday 22, including David Johnston who captains the side this weekend. Up to seven players could make their B&I Cup debuts in Swansea with Peter Malone calling on the services of senior, Academy and club players.
A recent arrival from Sale Sharks, Ciaran Parker, will make his first Munster ‘A’ appearance in the front row alongside Brian Scott and hooker Kevin O’Byrne. The Shannon second row duo of Ronan Coffey and Sean McCarthy complete the tight five.
Sean O’Connor returns from the neck injury he sustained in GUINNESS PRO14 action against Glasgow Warriors to start in the back row alongside his Academy colleague Gavin Coombes and debutant Tom Ryan from Young Munster.
In an experienced half-back partnership, James Hart makes his first Munster ‘A’ appearance with Kerry native JJ Hanrahan alongside him, and in the midfield, the returning Sam Arnold sees his first action of the season in a red jersey. Having recovered from a calf injury, Arnold pairs up at centre with Ireland Sevens international Alex McHenry.
Academy talent Shane Daly, another Ireland Sevens-capped player, will make his B&I Cup debut on the left wing, while Stephen Fitzgerald looks after the opposite flank and full-back and captain Johnston completes an exciting back-three.
Named on the bench, the Academy’s Liam Coombes, UCC’s Rob O’Donovan and Mikey Wilson from Garryowen are also in line for their debuts in the cross-border competition.
MUNSTER ‘A’ (v Ospreys Premiership Select): David Johnston (capt); Stephen Fitzgerald, Sam Arnold, Alex McHenry, Shane Daly; JJ Hanrahan, James Hart; Brian Scott, Kevin O’Byrne, Ciaran Parker, Ronan Coffey, Sean McCarthy, Sean O’Connor, Gavin Coombes, Tom Ryan.
Replacements: Mike Sherry, Rob O’Donovan, Evan Mintern, Mikey Wilson, John Poland, Bill Johnston, Liam Coombes.