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Munster ‘A’ Make Five Changes For Swansea Trip

Munster ‘A’ Make Five Changes For Swansea Trip

The Munster ‘A’ team to face the Ospreys Development outfit in the second round of the Celtic Cup at St. Helen’s on Saturday (kick-off 2pm) has been named by head coach Peter Malone.

Bill Johnston captains the province from out-half with 10 Greencore Munster Rugby Academy players included in the squad. There are five changes to the side that defeated Connacht Eagles 24-16 in Cork, as Stephen Fitzgerald, Alan Tynan, Jack Stafford, Brian Scott and Fineen Wycherley are all drafted into the starting XV.

Seven senior players are involved as Johnston is joined by Fitzgerald, Calvin Nash, Jeremy Loughman, Scott and Wycherley for the kick-off in Swansea with Ciaran Parker on the bench. Josh Wycherley, younger brother of Fineen, is also among the replacements with the west Cork native set to make his Celtic Cup debut.

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Tynan and Fitzgerald link up with Nash in an exciting back-three, while the all-Academy centre pairing of Matt More and Alex McHenry is unchanged. Scrum half Stafford comes in to partner Johnston at half-back, and Ireland Under-20 hooker Diarmuid Barron packs down with Loughman and Scott in the front row.

Fineen Wycherley and Sean O’Connor will fill the second row spots, and an unchanged back row includes Castleisland RFC product Jack Daly, UCC’s John Hodnett and Gavin Coombes, who lined out at number 8 both of Munster’s pre-season matches and made his competitive debut off the bench against the Toyota Cheetahs two weeks ago.

Billy Scannell, younger brother of Munster senior players Niall and Rory, is the replacement hooker with his Young Munster and Ireland Under-19 team-mate Josh Wycherley, and tighthead Parker, providing further front row back-up.

UL Bohemians’ Darragh O’Grady and Young Munster’s Dan Walsh, who impressed off the bench against Connacht Eagles, complete the forward replacements. UCC scrum half John Poland and Year One Academy recruits Ben Healy and Sean French are the back-line reserves.

MUNSTER ‘A’ (v Ospreys Development): Stephen Fitzgerald; Alan Tynan, Matt More, Alex McHenry, Calvin Nash; Bill Johnston (capt), Jack Stafford; Jeremy Loughman, Diarmuid Barron, Brian Scott, Fineen Wycherley, Sean O’Connor; Jack Daly, John Hodnett, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Billy Scannell, Josh Wycherley, Ciaran Parker, Darragh O’Grady, Dan Walsh, John Poland, Ben Healy, Sean French.