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Extended Ireland Squad Announced For Club Internationals

Extended Ireland Squad Announced For Club Internationals

An extended 32-man Ireland Club International squad has been named for the 2019 series. Ireland Club XV head coach Morgan Lennon made the announcement ahead of Dalriada Cup games against Scotland Clubs on February 1 and 8.

14 clubs are represented among the 32 players with Old Wesley’s Morgan Lennon and assistant coach Johne Murphy from Naas at the helm for a third year. Seven of the squad come from current All-Ireland League Division 1A leaders Cork Constitution, including Brian Hayes who is one of the 19 uncapped players.

Prop Ian Prendiville is the most experienced of Lansdowne’s six-strong contingent with five Club XV appearances to date, despite missing out on the 2018 series which Scotland won.

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Matt D’Arcy (pictured below) is among the five Clontarf players named in the squad. The centre could make a record eighth Club international start during the two-game series. The record for most caps is held by Dolphin legend Barry Keeshan who made seven starts in 11 appearances while scoring a record 51 points. 

Matt D'Arcy in action for the Ireland Club team in 2018

Liam Cronin’s inclusion continues a proud history at this level for the Cronin family – his brother Neil made eight appearances in a Club International jersey prior to linking up with Munster on a full-time basis this season. 

Cronin’s Garryowen team-mate Andy Keating is also part of Ireland’s 2019 panel, while St. Mary’s College (1), Terenure College, UCC and Young Munster provide the remaining players from the top flight.

Peter Starrett could become the first City of Armagh player to contest a Club international fixture. There are two players each from Old Wesley and Naas with one player each drawn from newly-crowned Connacht Senior Cup champions Buccaneers, Malone and Old Belvedere.  

Speaking at the squad’s first camp at Ashbourne RFC, head coach Lennon said: “It’s such a tough selection process because there are so many quality players in the league. What we’re looking for is leadership. We will give them the framework to work in and it will be down to the right players to make the right decisions on the field.

“We played poorly for 40 minutes in Scotland last year and we lost the Dalriada Cup on the back of that. The guys that were involved last year know the standard required if we are going to win this. We know where we have to get to by February 1 and again for the home game on February 8.”

IRELAND CLUB INTERNATIONAL Squad (v Scotland Clubs, 2019 Dalriada Cup Series):

Alan Bennie (Lansdowne) *
Harry Brennan (Lansdowne)
Michael Brown (Clontarf) *
Royce Burke-Flynn (Clontarf)
Luke Cahill (Cork Constitution) *
Adam Coyle (Naas) *
Liam Cronin (Garryowen) *
Matt D’Arcy (Clontarf)
Cronan Gleeson (Old Wesley) 
Brian Hayes (Cork Constitution) *
Andy Keating (Garryowen) *
Jack Keating (Old Belvedere) *
Niall Kenneally (Cork Constitution)
Tom Kiersey (Old Wesley) *
Conor Kindregan (Cork Constitution) *
Daniel McEvoy (Lansdowne) 
Joe McSwiney (Cork Constitution)
Michael Melia (Terenure College)
Eamonn Mills (Lansdowne)
Aidan Moynihan (Cork Constitution) *
Michael Noone (Clontarf)
JJ O’Neill (Cork Constitution) *
Peter Osborne (Naas)
Tom O’Reilly (St. Mary’s College) *
Jack O’Sullivan (Lansdowne) *
John Poland (UCC) *
Ian Prendiville (Lansdowne)
Tony Ryan (Clontarf)
Callum Smith (Malone) *
Peter Starrett (City of Armagh) *
John Sutton (Buccaneers) *
Dan Walsh (Young Munster) *

* Denotes uncapped player at this level

IRELAND CLUB INTERNATIONAL Management Team –

Head Coach – Morgan Lennon
Assistant Coach – Johne Murphy
Team Manager – Maurice Hartery
Baggage Master – David Jermyn
Strength & Conditioning Coach – Cathal Murtagh
Doctor – Stuart O’Flanagan
Physio – Ailbe McCormack

2019 DALRIADA CUP SERIES FIXTURES:

Scotland Clubs v Ireland Club XV
Friday, February 1, kick-off 7.30pm
Myerside Stadium, Edinburgh

Ireland Club XV v Scotland Clubs
Friday, February 8, kick-off 7.30pm
Energia Park, Donnybrook

IRELAND CLUB INTERNATIONAL RECORDS –

Ireland Club XV Top Points Scorers:

51 – Barry Keeshan (Dolphin)
37 – Craig Ronaldson (Lansdowne)
26 – Scott Deasy (Lansdowne)

Ireland Club XV Top Try Scorers:

4 – Barry O’Mahony (Clontarf), Mark Roche (Lansdowne)
3- Frank Cogan (Cork Constitution/Clontarf), Simon Crawford (Clontarf), Paddy Finlay (Dublin University/Clontarf), Daniel Riordan (Old Belvedere)

Ireland Club XV Caps:

11 – Barry Keeshan (Dolphin)
10 – Frank Cogan (Cork Constitution/Clontarf), Gerry Hurley (Garryowen/Cork Constitution)