Jump to main content


Teams Announced For First Cara Cup Interpro Clash

Teams Announced For First Cara Cup Interpro Clash

Iwan Hughes is pictured during the Ireland Under-20 team's warm-up win over the Munster Development side in Cork ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Iwan Hughes, who was part of the Ireland Under-20 matchday squad against Wales, will start at full-back in the Ulster ‘A’ team’s Cara Cup opener against Connacht Eagles tonight at Union Sports Complex in Weymouth, south of Boston (kick-off 7pm local time/11pm Irish time).

Ulster ‘A’ coaches Kieran Campbell and Willie Anderson have selected a youthful side for the interprovincial match, with Marcus Rea, one of seven Abbey Insurance Academy players named in the starting XV, captaining the province from openside flanker.

He is joined in the back row by Caleb Montgomery and Joe Dunleavy, Ireland Under-20 hopeful JJ McKee and Jack Regan pair up in the second row, and Ross Kane, who has played 12 times for the Ulster senior team so far this season, fills the tighthead berth alongside Zack McCall and Peter Cooper.

Another senior player, the 23-times capped Johnny McPhillips, will direct operations from half-back alongside sub-Academy scrum half Michael Stronge, while Stewart Moore, who missed out on the Ireland U-20s’ Grand Slam campaign due to concussion, combines with Ben Power in the centre. Hughes and Malone duo Graham Curtis and Jack Owens make up the back-three.

Five days on from helping the Ireland U-20s win away to Wales, young forwards Callum Reid and David McCann are on the Ulster ‘A’ bench along with Claytan Milligan, Corrie Barrett, Bradley Luney, Charlie Clarke, Lewis Finlay, Bruce Houston and Ben McCaughey, who has impressed for Malone in All-Ireland League Division 1B.

Meanwhile, seven players have been swapped in from the Connacht Eagles’ bench following their 38-7 victory over New England Free Jacks last Saturday. The eighth and final change sees Academy youngster Conor Hayes, who turned 20 last week, get the nod on the left wing.

Conor Dean and James Mitchell lead a back-line which includes a new centre pairing in Corey Reid and Sean O’Brien, who scored a 70-metre intercept try against the Free Jacks. Colm de Buitlear and Hugh Lane, two of the other try scorers against the Boston-based side, complete the back-three.

Up front, Eagles head coach Mossy Lawler has also introduced Peter Claffey, Naas duo Jordan Duggan and James Connolly and the Ireland-capped Robin Copeland, with Sean Masterson switching to blindside flanker. Joe Maksymiw captains the westerners from the second row, behind 22-year-old tighthead Conor Kenny who is looking to build on his man-of-the-match performance from the weekend.

CONNACHT EAGLES: Colm de Buitlear; Hugh Lane, Corey Reid, Sean O’Brien, Conor Hayes; Conor Dean, James Mitchell; Jordan Duggan, Jonny Murphy, Conor Kenny, Peter Claffey, Joe Maksymiw (capt), Sean Masterson, James Connolly, Robin Copeland.

Replacements: Declan Adamson, Conan O’Donnell, Neal Moylett, Cian Huxford, Stephen Kerins, Luke Carty, Oran McNulty.

ULSTER ‘A’: Iwan Hughes; Graham Curtis, Stewart Moore, Ben Power, Jack Owens; Johnny McPhillips, Michael Stronge; Peter Cooper, Zack McCall, Ross Kane, JJ McKee, Jack Regan, Caleb Montgomery, Marcus Rea (capt), Joe Dunleavy.

Replacements: Claytan Milligan, Callum Reid, Corrie Barrett, Bradley Luney, David McCann, Charlie Clarke, Lewis Finlay, Bruce Houston, Ben McCaughey.


Saturday, March 16 –

New England Free Jacks 7 Connacht Eagles 38, Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth

Wednesday, March 20 –

Connacht Eagles v Ulster ‘A’, Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth, 7pm local time/11pm Irish time

Sunday, March 24 –

New England Free Jacks v Ulster ‘A’, Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth, 6.30pm local time/10.30pm Irish time

Saturday, April 6 –

New England Free Jacks v Munster ‘A’, Irish Cultural Centre, Canton, 4pm local time/9pm Irish time

Wednesday April 10 –

Munster ‘A’ v Leinster ‘A’, Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth, 7pm local time/12am Irish time

Sunday, April 14 –

New England Free Jacks v Leinster ‘A’, Harvard Mignone Field, Boston, 5pm local time/10pm Irish time