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Ten Academy Players Feature In Munster ‘A’ Line-Up

Ten Academy Players Feature In Munster ‘A’ Line-Up

The Munster ‘A’ team to play Connacht Eagles in tonight’s Celtic Cup opener at Irish Independent Park (kick-off 5.30pm) has been named by head coach Peter Malone.

Darren O’Shea captains the side with 10 Greencore Munster Academy players included along with a number of senior and club players. It is an all-senior back-three as Stephen Fitzgerald starts at full-back with Calvin Nash and Alex Wootton on either flank.

An Academy centre pairing of Alex McHenry, the Ireland Sevens international, and South African youngster Matt More is outside the senior half-back partnership of Bill Johnston and James Hart, who was involved in Munster’s opening GUINNESS PRO14 win as a second half replacement.

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Academy hooker Diarmuid Barron starts with senior props Jeremy Loughman and Ciaran Parker on either side of the front row. Skipper O’Shea and Academy forward Sean O’Connor feature in the engine room, while the selected back row includes UCC’s John Hodnett and Academy players Jack Daly and Gavin Coombes.

Young Munster’s former PBC hooker Billy Scannell, brother of senior players Niall and Rory, is listed among the replacements. Nenagh Ormond prop Cronan Gleeson, who featured for the senior squad in the pre-season Kearys Renault Series, is included in the squad along with 19-year-old Academy prop Keynan Knox.

Cork Constitution’s Evan Mintern and Young Munster clubman Dan Walsh also take their places on the province’s bench which is completed by the Academy trio of half-backs Jack Stafford and Ben Healy and back-three prospect Liam Coombes.

Entry to all three of the Munster ‘A’ team’s home Celtic Cup pool games are free for full and associate members of the Munster Rugby Supporters Club. It is €;20 for a family pack (two adults and two juniors), €;10 for adults and €;5 for juniors. All tickets are general admission.

MUNSTER ‘A’ (v Connacht Eagles): Stephen Fitzgerald; Calvin Nash, Matt More, Alex McHenry, Alex Wootton; Bill Johnston, James Hart; Jeremy Loughman, Diarmuid Barron, Ciaran Parker, Darren O’Shea (capt), Sean O’Connor; Jack Daly, John Hodnett, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Billy Scannell, Cronan Gleeson, Keynan Knox, Evan Mintern, Dan Walsh, Jack Stafford, Ben Healy, Liam Coombes.