Bleyendaal ready for belated Munster bow
Munster fans will finally get an opportunity to get a glimpse of their much-hyped overseas signing Tyler Bleyendaal in today's 'A' team clash against Ulster's Ravens at Naas RFC (ko, 3.0).
The ex-Crusaders playmaker has been in Ireland for a number of months but has been a frustrated onlooker as he recovered from a prolapsed disc in his neck.
Bleyendaal captained the 2010 New Zealand Junior World Cup-winning side and played a number of times for Crusaders in Super Rugby; his signing was one of the reasons that rising Irish star JJ Hanrahan agreed a move to Northampton.
Munster also include in their line-up Conor Oliver at openside, a St Mary's College player who has previously represented Leinster at age-grade level and who will feature in the Ireland U-20 squad for June's Junior World Cup.
UCD prop JP Ryan, another former Leinster player, is on the bench.
Munster 'A' won by 30-24 in Nenagh earlier this season, while the Ravens were 15-13 winners at Banbridge a fortnight ago as they prepare for today's decider in the three-match series between the provinces.
Sam Arnold, Lorcan Dow and Alex Thompson, who have all been selected in the Ireland squad for the U-20s World Championship, are all named in the extended Ravens panel.
Munster 'A' - J Murphy; D Sweetnam, D Johnston, D Goggin, L O'Dea; T Bleyendaal, C Sheridan; L O'Connor, N Scannell, P McCabe, J Madigan, F Bradshaw Ryan, D O'Callaghan, C Oliver, J O'Donoghue. Reps: L O'Halloran, N Horan, JP Phelan, L Nicholas, D Dee, O Lyons, N Cronin, G Lyons, R Deegan, A Wootton, D McCarthy.
Ulster Ravens - P Nelson; M Allen, M Best, S Arnold, M Hooks; M Heaney, D Shanahan: K McCall, J Andrew, R Lutton, J Donnan L Stevenson, C Joyce, C Ross, L Dow.
Reps: P Jackson, R Murphy, A Thompson, N McComb, F Taggart, S Reidy, S Mulholland, C Young, K Joyce, A Lidell, P Dunlop.