Ireland Club XV coaches Morgan Lennon and Johne Murphy have confirmed a 31-man squad ahead of the games against their Scottish counterparts on Friday week (February 23) at Dubarry Park and in Netherdale in the Scottish Borders on Friday, March 16.
Players from 14 different Ulster Bank League clubs are included in the panel, with Old Wesley’s Morgan Lennon and Naas player-coach Johne Murphy taking on the head coach and assistant coach roles for the second successive year.
Garryowen’s in-form scrum half Neil Cronin, who has amassed 128 points in this season’s league, returns for his fifth Ulster Bank Club International campaign and is joined by his Light Blues club-mate Jamie Gavin.
Clontarf’s classy centre Matt D’Arcy is set for his fourth stint with the Ireland Club side, and his club-mate, number 8 Michael Noone, is also selected for the home-and-away clashes with Scotland Clubs.
Current Division 1A leaders Lansdowne have four players in the mix, with full-back Eamonn Mills looking to win his second Club International cap, having featured last season against England Counties.
Terenure College, who are currently third in the top flight, have five players included, all of whom will be looking to pull on the green Club International jersey for the first time. The quintet includes ‘Nure’s impressive second row pairing of Michael Melia and Alex Thompson.
Cork Constitution (2), Dublin University (3), St. Mary’s College (3) and Young Munster (1) are the other Division 1A clubs with players involved. From Division 1B, seven players are drawn from Banbridge, Naas, Old Belvedere and Old Wesley, while Cashel and Greystones represent Division 2A with a player each – tighthead prop James Kendrick and flying winger Jack Keating.
IRELAND ULSTER BANK CLUB INTERNATIONAL Squad (v Scotland Clubs, February/March 2018):
Harry Brennan (Lansdowne)
Michael Cromie (Banbridge)
Peter Cromie (Banbridge)
Neil Cronin (Garryowen) *
Matt D’Arcy (Clontarf) *
Jack Dwan (Lansdowne)
Paddy Finlay (Dublin University) *
Jamie Gavin (Garryowen)
Cronan Gleeson (Old Wesley)
Fionn Higgins (Naas)
Jack Keating (Greystones)
James Kendrick (Cashel)
Niall Kenneally (Cork Constitution)
Angus Lloyd (Dublin University) *
Daniel McEvoy (Lansdowne)
Jack McDermott (Dublin University)
Joe McSwiney (Cork Constitution)
Michael Melia (Terenure College)
Eamonn Mills (Lansdowne) *
Darren Moroney (St. Mary’s College)
Michael Noone (Clontarf)
Mark O’Neill (Terenure College)
Tom O’Reilly (St. Mary’s College)
Peter Osborne (Naas) *
Ed Rossiter (Old Belvedere) *
Ciaran Ruddock (St. Mary’s College) *
Colm Skehan (Young Munster)
Robbie Smyth (Terenure College)
Jake Swaine (Terenure College)
Alex Thompson (Terenure College)
Paulie Tolofua (Naas)
* Denotes previously-capped player at this level
IRELAND ULSTER BANK CLUB INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT –
Head Coach – Morgan Lennon
Assistant Coach – Johne Murphy
Team Manager – Maurice Hartery
Baggage Master – David Jermyn
Strength & Conditioning Coach – Cathal Murtagh
Doctor – Stuart O’Flanagan
Physio – Ailbe McCormack
2017/18 CLUB INTERNATIONAL FIXTURES:
Ireland Club XV v Scotland Clubs
Friday, February 23, kick-off 7.30pm
Dubarry Park, Athone
Scotland Clubs v Ireland Club XV
Friday, March 16, kick-off 7.30pm