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Prop Byrne To Lead Leinster ‘A’ For Final Pool Game

Prop Byrne To Lead Leinster ‘A’ For Final Pool Game

Ed Byrne will captain the Leinster ‘A’ team when they entertain Doncaster Knights in the final round of British & Irish Cup pool stages at Donnybrook on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

Leinster are reminding supporters that the kick-off time for this B&I Cup game has changed to 3pm to accommodate supporters that wish to watch the senior team’s Champions Cup match away to Montpellier (kick-off 1pm Irish time).

Barry Daly returns from injury to start at full-back for Leinster ‘A’, coming into a back-three that is completed by Jack Kelly and Tommy O’Brien, who are both retained out wide following last weekend’s 41-27 bonus point win away to the Cardiff Blues Premiership Select.

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There will be plenty of experience in the province’s midfield as Noel Reid is selected to start in a centre pairing with Gavin Mullin. The versatile Ciaran Frawley moves to number 10 with Nick McCarthy starting at scrum half.

In the front row with captain Ed Byrne are Ronan Kelleher and Michael Bent, who is just one appearance away from making it a century with the senior squad. Mick Kearney and Ian Nagle will feature in the engine room once again this weekend, while Josh Murphy, Max Kearney and Peadar Timmins combine in an unchanged back row.

Speaking to leinsterrugby.ie, Leinster ‘A’ head coach Noel McNamara, whose charges have already sealed a home quarter-final, said: “We couldn’t have asked for much more from the boys (so far in this B&I Cup campaign). There have been some fantastic performances, notably away to Doncaster and Bristol.

“Even last weekend they showed a lot of character in digging out that result in what was Cardiff’s best performance of the campaign. We’re pleased to be in the position that we’re in and we’re looking forward to the challenge against Doncaster again.”

The English Championship side come into Saturday’s game with qualification for the knockout stages in their own hands as long as they pick up a win at Donnybrook.

“Doncaster clearly want to be involved in the latter stages of this competition. We’re under absolutely no illusions that it’s going to be a huge test for us. We have a lot of respect for Doncaster – we had a fantastic game over there. I’ve no doubt in my mind as to the challenge we’re going to face on Saturday.”

LEINSTER ‘A’ (v Doncaster Knights): Barry Daly; Jack Kelly, Gavin Mullin, Noel Reid, Tommy O’Brien; Ciaran Frawley, Nick McCarthy; Ed Byrne (capt), Ronan Kelleher, Michael Bent, Mick Kearney, Ian Nagle, Josh Murphy, Max Kearney, Peadar Timmins.

Replacements: Sean McNulty, Jack Aungier, Oisin Heffernan, Oisin Dowling, Charlie Rock, Harry Byrne, Conor O’Brien.