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Adept 'A' team can ground Falcons

Newcastle Falcons v Leinster 'A', Kingston Park, Tonight (KO 7.30)

The Falcons could not easily shake free of Leeds Carnegie in the second leg of the Championship play-off at this venue last week, coming out 15-6 victors, 34-30 on aggregate, against Tom Denton's old club.

This has been a story of development and revenge for Leinster 'A', culminating in their 17-15 defeat away to Munster 'A', last year's winners, in what was a turnaround from last season's semi-final.

The advantage of Joe Schmidt's promotion of the next generation is that this Leinster collection has a lot of experience from full-back Fionn Carr right through to captain and number eight Jordi Murphy.

While Ian Madigan and Falcon Jimmy Gopperth will start as one and two in the fly-half pecking order next season, Academy out-half Cathal Marsh is a real talent with distribution skills to tear down any defence.

The fact that Newcastle's Dean Richards has chosen a fully second-string outfit swings the pre-match psychological momentum in favour of the Irish province.

Verdict: Leinster

Newcastle: J Sole; Z Kibirge, A Crockett, J Fitzpatrick, A Higgins; J Hodgson, R Lawson; J Hall, R Vickers, S Wilson, S Tomes, J Hudson (capt), O Stedman, R Mayhew, C York.

Leinster 'A': F Carr; S Coghlan-Murray, B Macken, N Reid, A Boyle; C Marsh, L McGrath; J O'Connell, A Dundon, M Bent, T Beirne, M Flanagan, D Ryan, C Gilsenan, J Murphy (capt).


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