O'Driscoll bloods young guns as Munster look to make up ground
Published 16/01/2016 | 02:30
Munster 'A' travel to take on leaders Yorkshire Carnegie tomorrow afternoon (3.00), knowing that a win would put them in with a great chance of topping the pool heading into the final weekend.
Coach Mick O'Driscoll has rung the changes from his side's win over Ospreys Select last time out with 10 fresh faces introduced.
Perhaps the most important of those is Johnny Holland who, after over a year on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, is back fully fit and the Cork native starts at out-half.
Gerhard van den Heever has endured a rather mixed time with Munster since joining the province from South Africa and he again finds himself having to make do with a spot in the 'A' side rather than the Champions Cup team.
Fresh from his contract extension earlier this week, David Johnston takes his place at full-back and will be eager to build on his growing reputation.
O'Driscoll has named a very inexperienced pack with AIL players Brendan Quinlan, Eddie Rossiter and Peter McCabe all making their first starts in the competition.
Lee Nicholas is another to be rewarded for his good form at club level with a start in the second-row alongside the academy's Sean McCarthy, while the powerful Shane Buckley captains the side from No 8.
Jordan Coghlan and Sean Doyle have both struggled to make an impact with the senior side since joining and they start in the back-row.
Yorkshire's only defeat of the pool came in Cork late last year and they will no doubt be seeking revenge. Munster have plenty of explosive talent in their back line but they may well struggle up front.
Verdict: Yorkshire Carnegie
Munster 'A' - D Johnston; S Fitzgerald, D Goggin, C Bohane, G van den Heever; J Holland, D Williams; B Quinlan, E Rossiter, P McCabe; L Nicholas, S McCarthy; J Coghlan, S Doyle, S Buckley (capt). Reps: S Fenton, B Scott, B Kilkenny, C Oliver, R Foley, N Hodson, D Sweetnam.