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Connacht Eagles Team Named For First Celtic Cup Tie

Connacht Eagles Team Named For First Celtic Cup Tie

The Connacht Eagles management team have named their starting XV for this evening’s Celtic Cup opener against Munster ‘A’ at Irish Independent Park (kick-off 5.30pm).

The westerners field a team full of senior and Academy players, led by hooker Tom McCartney who is returning from an ankle injury. James Mitchell, Conor Carey and Cillian Gallagher, who all made replacement appearances against Glasgow Warriors last Saturday, will start for the Eagles in Cork.

Mitchell partners Conor Fitzgerald, the 20-year-old former Munster ‘A’ out-half who is now part of the Connacht Academy. Fitzgerald’s older brother Stephen will start at full-back for Munster ‘A’ as the provinces begin their Celtic Cup campaigns.

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Peter Robb, who is returning from a neck injury, has Kieran Joyce for company in the Connacht Eagles’ midfield, with Darragh Leader and Rory Scholes providing senior experience in a back-three completed by Colm de Buitléar, a second-year Academy player.

De Buitléar’s Corinthians club-mate, Matthew Burke, joins skipper McCartney and Carey in the front row, Peter Claffey and Joe Maksymiw form a robust second row pairing, and the 21-year-old Mikey Wilson, who has switched provinces from Munster, anchors the back row at number 8.

Jordan Duggan, Cormac Daly, Conor Dean and Sean O’Brien, who all played for Ireland in the summer’s World Rugby Under-20 Championship in France, are included on the Eagles bench. Ballina youngster Neal Moylett, an Ireland U-19 international, and ex-Ulster and Rotherham Titans hooker Jonny Murphy, who joined Connacht in the summer, are also part of the matchday 23.
CONNACHT EAGLES (v Munster ‘A’): Darragh Leader; Rory Scholes, Kieran Joyce, Peter Robb, Colm de Buitléar; Conor Fitzgerald, James Mitchell; Matthew Burke, Tom McCartney (capt), Conor Carey, Peter Claffey, Joe Maksymiw, Cillian Gallagher, Cian Huxford, Mikey Wilson.

Replacements: Jonny Murphy, Jordan Duggan, Conor Kenny, Cormac Daly, Neal Moylett, Conor McKeon, Conor Dean, Sean O’Brien.