A powerful Ireland Students squad has been selected for the showdown with their Scottish counterparts at Boroughmuir RFC, Meggetland in Edinburgh on Sunday week (March 11) (kick-off 12.30pm).
It is a well-balanced selection with a focus on ball-handling skills and mobility throughout the panel, along with the size and power up front to produce plenty of possession. The likes of Michael Courtney, Tomas Quinlan, Paul Kiernan and Cian Bohane bring pace and footballing ability to the back-line, while players of the calibre of Ryan Murphy, Alex Penny and Sam Pim combine power and athleticism in the forwards.
Bohane, having left behind his professional career with Munster to pursue his studies at UCC, will bring his considerable experience to bear in the backs division. Equally comfortable at centre or on the wing, Bohane’s speed and strength on the ball can do damage to any defence while his professional experience makes him a notable leader in defence.
Former Ireland Under-20 international Quinlan spent time in the Munster set-up also as part of the Academy, and the CIT student has been a standout performer in the top flight of the Ulster Bank League with Cork Constitution.
Other names to watch out for are UCD full-back Steven Kilgallen, whose verve and speed in attack is matched by his solidity under the high ball and general defensive excellence, and IT Carlow’s explosive prop Martin Mulhall, who combines set piece strength with relentless energy in the loose.
All told, it is a squad that covers all the bases for head coach David O’Mahony and one that can travel to Scotland with confidence. The squad will assemble in Dublin next Thursday (March 8) for final preparations before flying to Edinburgh the day after.
IRELAND STUDENTS Squad (v Scotland Students) – Backs (10): Cian Bohane (UCC), Fergal Cleary (DIT), Michael Courtney (Dublin University), Paul Kiernan (UCC), Steven Kilgallen (UCD), Rowan Osborne (Dublin University), Tomas Quinlan (CIT), James Taylor (UCC), Gerard Treanor (Queen’s University), Richard Walsh (UCC).
Forwards (13): James Bollard (DIT), Ty Chan (University of Limerick), Tadgh McCarthy (UCC), Michael Moynihan (UCD), Ntinga Mpiko (IT Carlow), Martin Mulhall (IT Carlow), Ryan Murphy (UCC), Lee Nicholas (University of Limerick), JJ O’Dea (DCU), Jack O’Sullivan (DBS), Alex Penny (UCD), Sam Pim (Dublin University), Patrick Thornton (DCU).