Ireland Club XV head coach Gearoid Prendergast has made two changes to his team to face Scotland Clubs in the Club International Series decider at Energia Park this Friday (kick-off 5.45pm).
Terenure College’s Matthew Byrne starts on the left wing, having scored off the bench during last Friday night’s 39-17 win in Galashiels.
There is rotation at hooker where Max Abbott comes in for his Cork Constitution club-mate John Sutton. Abbott has three previous caps at this level against England Counties, France Fédérale and Scotland Clubs.
Commenting on the team selection, Prendergast said: “We’ve made changes that will help us build on last week’s performance. The Scots owned the ball for long periods in the second half and we’ll need to address that.
“We said from the outset we wanted to play a high tempo ball-in-hand game and I think we’ve shown that. We’ll have talented players with a high skill-set on a synthetic surface at home at Energia Park. It should be pretty entertaining.”
Three uncapped players come onto the bench – Young Munster’s Conor Bartley will provide cover in the front row, and backs Gearoid Lyons (Clontarf) and Sam Coghlan Murray (Terenure College) are also set to make their debuts.
The Ireland Club XV squad is drawn from players in the Energia All-Ireland League. Tickets are available to buy from Ticketmaster.
IRELAND CLUB XV Team & Replacements (v Scotland Club XV, 2020 Club International Series, Energia Park, Donnybrook, Friday, February 7, kick-off 5.45pm):
15. Jamie Heuston (Garryowen) 1
14. Colm Hogan (Dublin University) 1
13. Pa Ryan (Shannon) 1
12. Bryan Fitzgerald (Garryowen) 1
11. Matthew Byrne (Terenure College) 1
10. James Taylor (UCC) 1
9. Aran Hehir (Shannon) 1
1. Conor Maguire (Old Wesley) 1
2. Max Abbott (Cork Constitution) 3
3. Andrew Keating (Garryowen) 2
4. Brian Hayes (Cork Constitution) 3
5. Alan Kennedy (Young Munster) (capt) 2
6. Michael Melia (Terenure College) 5
7. John Foley (Young Munster) 1
8. Paul Derham (Old Wesley) 1
16. Adam Clarkin (Terenure College) 1
17. Conor Bartley (Young Munster) *
18. Corrie Barrett (Garryowen) 1
19. Peter Claffey (Terenure College) 1
20. Ryan Murphy (UCC) 1
21. Gerry Hurley (Cork Constitution) 10
22. Gearoid Lyons (Clontarf) *
23. Sam Coghlan Murray (Terenure College) *
* Denotes uncapped player at this level
Ireland Club XV Coaching & Management Team:
Head Coach: Gearoid Prendergast
Assistant Coach: James Blaney
Team Manager: Mark Hamilton
Strength & Conditioning Coach: Rob Cassidy
Baggage Master: Paddy ‘Rala’ O’Reilly
Team Doctor: Stuart O’Flanagan
Team Physiotherapist: Ailbe McCormack
Performance Analyst: Niall Kelly
Communications Manager: Ross O’Donoghue
2020 CLUB INTERNATIONAL SERIES FIXTURES:
Ireland Club XV v Scotland Clubs
Friday, February 7, kick-off 5.45pm
Energia Park, Donnybrook
Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster.