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Malone Makes Three Changes For Munster ‘A’ Revenge Mission

Malone Makes Three Changes For Munster ‘A’ Revenge Mission

The Munster ‘A’ team has been named for Saturday afternoon’s British & Irish Cup clash with Bedford Blues at Goldington Road (kick-off 3pm).

Head coach Peter Malone has made three changes to the side that were defeated 25-14 at Irish Independent Park last Friday night as Robin Copeland, Ciaran Parker and current Ireland Under-20 international Dave McCarthy all come into the side.

Ten Greencore Munster Rugby Academy players are included in the matchday 22. Captain David Johnston is moved to full-back as Stephen Fitzgerald switches to the right wing and Liam Coombes keeps his place on the left flank.

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Dave McCarthy, the 19-year-old Garryowen clubman, come in to partner 20-year-old Ireland Sevens international Alex McHenry in midfield and the half-back pairing of the senior-capped James Hart and Bill Johnston is unchanged.

Experienced hooker Mike Sherry is flanked in the front row by Jeremy Loughman, who moves to loosehead prop following his Munster ‘A’ debut last week, and tighthead Parker. Fineen Wycherley and Sean McCarthy keep their places in the engine room with Sean O’Connor, Gavin Coombes and Copeland combining in the back row.

UCC prop Rob O’Donovan, who joined the Munster Academy last month, is among the replacements along with Vincent O’Brien, Evan Mintern, Jack O’Sullivan, John Poland, Conor Fitzgerald and Jack Power, one of the province’s try scorers in the round 3 tie.

Last week’s three-try victory saw Bedford Blues move five points clear at the top of British & Irish Cup Pool 1, with defending champions Munster ‘A’ determined to gain revenge in this pre-Christmas encounter.

MUNSTER ‘A’ (v Bedford Blues): David Johnston (capt); Stephen Fitzgerald, Alex McHenry, Dave McCarthy, Liam Coombes; Bill Johnston. James Hart; Jeremy Loughman, Mike Sherry, Ciaran Parker, Fineen Wycherley, Sean McCarthy, Sean O’Connor, Gavin Coombes, Robin Copeland.

Replacements: Vincent O’Brien, Rob O’Donovan, Evan Mintern, Jack O’Sullivan, John Poland, Conor Fitzgerald, Jack Power.