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Leinster ‘A’ Make Eight Changes For Donnybrook Duel

Leinster ‘A’ Make Eight Changes For Donnybrook Duel

Leinster ‘A’ will take on their Munster counterparts for a place in the Celtic Cup final at Energia Park in Donnybrook on Friday evening (kick-off 5pm).

The two teams are level on 24 points at the top of the Irish Conference after five games, with Leinster ‘A’ leading the way on scoring difference. The top side in each pool will go on to contest the final, and the Scarlets ‘A’ and Ospreys Development outfits are leading the Welsh Conference race for the other final spot.

Leinster ‘A’ head coach Peter Smyth has made eight personnel changes to the starting XV from last week’s 48-29 bonus point success at Dragons ‘A’. There is a new second row partnership selected and four changes to the back-line.

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Former Ireland Under-20 captain Jack Kelly will once again skipper Leinster ‘A’ from full-back, with Adam Byrne, the scorer of two tries in Ystrad Mynach, and Dave Kearney filling the wing berths. Tom Daly returns from injury to start in the centre with Jimmy O’Brien.

Noel Reid dons the number 10 shirt in a half-back partnership with Academy scrum-half Paddy Patterson. Peter Dooley will bring 51 senior caps worth of experience to the front row alongside Ronan Kelleher at hooker and Vakh Abdaladze who gets the nod at tighthead.

There are also over 100 senior Leinster caps in the second row in the shape of Ross Molony and Mick Kearney, while Josh Murphy, Scott Penny, who has scored five tries in his last two Leinster ‘A’ appearances, and Caelan Doris combine again in the loose forwards.

LEINSTER ‘A’ (v Munster ‘A’): Jack Kelly (capt); Adam Byrne, Jimmy O’Brien, Tom Daly, Dave Kearney; Noel Reid, Paddy Patterson; Peter Dooley, Ronan Kelleher, Vakh Abdaladze, Ross Molony, Mick Kearney, Josh Murphy, Scott Penny, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Ed Byrne, Jack Aungier, Oisin Dowling, Max Deegan, Hugh O’Sullivan, Ciaran Frawley, Michael Silvester.