Wednesday 7 December 2016

In-form Leinster 'A' out to secure quarter-final place

Published 16/01/2016 | 02:30

There are six personnel changes to the side who eased to victory over Ealing Trailfinders but with the likes of Billy Dardis, Darragh Fanning (pictured), Steve Crosbie and Nick McCarthy coming into the back-line, coach Hugh Hogan's hand hasn't exactly been weakened (SPORTSFILE)
There are six personnel changes to the side who eased to victory over Ealing Trailfinders but with the likes of Billy Dardis, Darragh Fanning (pictured), Steve Crosbie and Nick McCarthy coming into the back-line, coach Hugh Hogan's hand hasn't exactly been weakened (SPORTSFILE)

Leinster 'A' have been flawless in their British and Irish Cup campaign to date and have taken 19 from a possible 20 points.

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While Leo Cullen has opted to give plenty of the province's youngsters a shot in Europe, it is a mark of Leinster's strength in depth that they can still name such a strong side for the visit to Moseley today (3.00pm).

There are six personnel changes to the side who eased to victory over Ealing Trailfinders in the previous round but with the likes of Billy Dardis, Darragh Fanning, Steve Crosbie and Nick McCarthy coming into the back-line, coach Hugh Hogan's hand hasn't exactly been weakened.

Moseley are Leinster's nearest challengers and Hogan knows the importance of claiming a victory that would seal their progress to the knockout stages.

"We're expecting a tough challenge this week with Moseley," Hogan said. "We're not taking them lightly. The other challenge going over to Moseley this weekend is the conditions. We'll have one half going into the wind and one half with the wind. Getting our tactics right is important.

"Their Championship standing belies their form. They're a team that can play well, especially at home. There's the added benefit of knowing if we get a win we'll have qualified, which is brilliant, but we're just focusing on this weekend," he added.

Jeremy Loughman (loosehead prop) and David O'Connor (second-row) have both benefited from call-ups to the senior side and they will be keen to take their opportunity.

Josh Murphy, Dan Leavy and captain Peadar Timmins make up an impressive looking back-row.

A home win would put Moseley in with a chance of overtaking Leinster, however, the visitors have been in scintillating form and don't expect that to change this afternoon.

Verdict: Leinster 'A'

Leinster 'A' - B Dardis; A Byrne, T Daly, S Crosbie, D Fanning; C Marsh, M McCarthy; J Loughman, B Byrne, O Heffernan; D O'Connor, T Beirne; J Murphy, D Leavy, P Timmins (capt). Reps: A Dundon, A Porter, J Ryan, T Ryan, C Rock, R Byrne, C Kelleher.

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