Five new faces for O'Mahony
Published 11/03/2011 | 05:00
Eight teams are represented in David O'Mahony's club international starting side that travel to Netherdale tonight in search of their first victory on Scottish soil (kick-off 7.30).
Last year's clash in Donnybrook went right to the wire with a late drop goal from Darragh Fitzpatrick securing a 21-18 win for Ireland and while the Blackrock man is not included this time, there is a healthy mix of experience along with the five new caps in the starting XV.
The new faces are scrum-half Matt D'Arcy, wing David Mongan, full-back John O'Brien, hooker Richie Sweeney and second-row Philip Donnellan.
Ciaran Kavanagh, Damian Hall and Stuart Morrow could also earn their first caps from the bench.
The experience comes from the likes of Dolphin's Barry Keeshan at No 10, Clontarf's Simon Crawford in the second-row and in the back-row, where former captain Hugh Hogan packs down alongside Barry O'Mahony and Frank Cogan, who skippers the side.
Scotland have an advantage in that they already have a game under their belt, losing 30-18 to France. They have also made admission to tonight's match free of charge and their team manager Ian Rankin believes supporters are in for a treat.
"These matches are always tight, with the standard getting better every year -- there's very little between the sides," he said. "A number of the players have played at this level on a number of occasions before, while the majority have the benefit of playing in the British and Irish Cup."
Next on the agenda is the visit of England Counties to Anglesea Road next Friday night (kick-off 5.30).
Ireland Club XV (v Scotland Club): J O'Brien (Buccaneers); J Cleary (Galwegians), E Moloney (Dolphin), E Ryan (Clontarf), D Mongan (Old Belvedere); B Keeshan (Dolphin), M D'Arcy (St Mary's); J Ryan (UCC), R Sweeney (St Mary's), C Condon (Dolphin); P Donnellan (UCC), S Crawford (Clontarf); H Hogan (St Mary's), B O'Mahony (Clontarf), F Cogan (capt, Cork Con). Reps: C Kavanagh (Clontarf), G Slattery (Young Munster), L Og Murphy (Young Munster), D Hall (St Mary's), G Hurley (Cork Con), A Kingsley (Young Munster), S Morrow (Ballynahinch).
Scotland Club XV: T Brown (Currie); F Thomson (Melrose), R Curle (Ayr), D Kelbrick (Glasgow Hawks), D Fife (Currie); S Wight (Melrose), R Sneddon (Currie); G Reid (Ayr), E Milligan (Glasgow Hawks), B McNeil (Hawick); Damien Kelly (Ayr), R McKay (Glasgow Hawks); J Dalziel (capt, Melrose), Rob Colhouln (Ayr), R Weston (Currie). Reps: F Gilles (Currie), A Dymock (Heriot's), N Campbell (Glasgow Hawks), A Dunlop (Ayr), A Dymock (Dundee), M Scott (Currie), H Duthie (Dundee).