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Leinster And Munster ‘A’ Teams Selected For Cara Cup Encounter

Leinster And Munster ‘A’ Teams Selected For Cara Cup Encounter

Academy youngster Alan Tynan is pictured on the attack for Munster 'A' against the New England Free Jacks in Canton last weekend ©INPHO/Emily Harney

The Leinster and Munster ‘A’ teams have been announced for tonight’s Cara Cup clash at Union Point Sports Complex in Weymouth, Massachusetts (kick-off 7pm local time/12am Irish time). It is the Munster side’s second game of the tour having defeated the New England Free Jacks 38-19 on Sunday.

The Leinster ‘A’ selection includes six senior-capped players, the most experienced of which is 23-year-old prop Vakh Abdaladze who has six appearances under his belt. Ireland Sevens international Jimmy O’Brien, captain Jack Kelly, Gavin Mullin and Paddy Patterson provide the experience in a youthful back-line.

Fellow Academy player Aaron O’Sullivan, Ireland Under-20 Grand Slam winner Rob Russell and Clontarf talent Conor Kelly complete the backs division, with 20-year-old tighthead Jack Aungier joining senior-capped duo Abdaladze and Ronan Kelleher in the front row, and Russell’s Ireland U-20 team-mate Ryan Baird combining with Old Belvedere’s Gerard Hill in the engine room.

Dublin University’s Dan Sheehan, a regular fixture at hooker in the All-Ireland League’s top flight, makes the move to blindside flanker alongside Mark Fleming and number 8 Ruadhan Byron, who has been playing for ‘Tarf in Division 1A. Another league regular, Old Belvedere’s Hawaiian prop Roman Salanoa, is on the bench.

Meanwhile, Shannon scrum half Jack Stafford captains the Munster ‘A’ team and is one of nine Greencore Munster Academy players in the starting XV. Current Ireland U-20 internationals James McCarthy, Sean French and Ben Healy are selected, along with fellow Academy members Alan Tynan, Eoghan Clarke, Keynan Knox, Sean O’Connor and Jack Daly.

Luke Kingston is rewarded for his All-Ireland League form with Division 2A champions Highfield, starting at full-back as one of eight personnel changes. McCarthy and Stafford also come into the back-line, while Knox, Daly and club players Cian Reale, Paddy Kelly and Ross O’Neill are also handed starts.

Shannon’s Luke Masters shows his versatility in switching to loosehead to accommodate Knox’s inclusion at tighthead, Tynan and French pair up in the centre, and O’Connor, who has signed a development contract for next season, shifts from the second row to blindside flanker. Young Munster’s Conor Phillips is another of the Ireland U-20 contingent on show.

Tynan, Alex Wootton, Gavin Coombes, Duncan Williams, O’Connor and replacement McCarthy shared out six tries in the Munster ‘A’ team’s double-scores defeat of their New England hosts in Canton last weekend. Leinster ‘A’ will play the Free Jacks in the Cara Cup’s final fixture at Boston’s Harvard Mignone Field this Sunday (kick-off 5pm local time/10pm Irish time).

LEINSTER ‘A’: Jack Kelly (capt); Aaron O’Sullivan, Jimmy O’Brien, Gavin Mullin, Rob Russell (Dublin University); Conor Kelly (Clontarf), Paddy Patterson; Vakh Abdaladze, Ronan Kelleher, Jack Aungier, Gerard Hill (Old Belvedere), Ryan Baird, Dan Sheehan (Dublin University), Mark Fleming (UCD), Ruadhan Byron (Clontarf).

Replacements: Giuseppe Coyne (Dublin University), Roman Salanoa (Old Belvedere), Shane Murphy (UCD), James Tarrant (UCD), Brian O’Donnell (Lansdowne), Max O’Reilly (Dublin University).

MUNSTER ‘A’: Luke Kingston (Highfield); Conor Phillips (Young Munster), Alan Tynan, Sean French, James McCarthy; Ben Healy, Jack Stafford (capt); Luke Masters (Shannon), Eoghan Clarke, Keynan Knox, Cian Reale (Old Crescent), Paddy Kelly (Young Munster), Sean O’Connor, Ross O’Neill (Cork Constitution), Jack Daly.

Replacements: Billy Scannell (Young Munster), Shane O’Driscoll (Midleton), David Jennings (Dolphin), Duncan Williams, James Hart.


Saturday, March 16 –

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

Wednesday, March 20 –

Connacht Eagles 44 Ulster ‘A’ 21, Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth

Sunday, March 24 –

New England Free Jacks 15 Ulster ‘A’ 43, Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth

Saturday, April 6 –

New England Free Jacks 19 Munster ‘A’ 38, Irish Cultural Centre, Canton

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