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Dempsey: 'This is a big opportunity for other guys to stake their claim'

Dempsey: 'This is a big opportunity for other guys to stake their claim'

SPORTSFILE

Dempsey: 'This is a big opportunity for other guys to stake their claim'

Leinster 'A' travel to England this evening hoping to keep alive their hopes of claiming a third consecutive British & Irish Cup title.

Girvan Dempsey's side take on Worcester Warriors (7.45), who are unbeaten in this season's competition and are top of the English Championship.

The defending champions are without several of their academy players who are involved in Ireland's U-20 clash against Wales but nevertheless, Dempsey is confident in the strength and depth of his squad.

"This is a big opportunity for other guys to stake their claim. We've seen the progression of players from this competition to the senior set-up so it is very important," he said.

"We haven't really faced a side like this in the competition yet. Worcester will be a stern test. They are a very accomplished side, have a very structured management and a settled squad.

"They're as good as a Premiership side given their position in the Championship table and we know how difficult a task lies ahead, but we're relishing that.

"This will be as close to a senior quality side as a lot of our guys will have faced."

Ben Te'o will be eager to continue his decent form ahead of a crucial run of games for the senior side.

Luke McGrath captains the side from scrum-half, with the impressive Billy Dardis at full-back.

Up front, Peter Dooley, Aaron Dundon and Royce Burke-Flynn make up the front-row, while openside flanker Dan Leavy will be eager to recapture the form he showed before picking up a lengthy injury.

"They're the form team in the competition and are fighting hard on both fronts. They are a very ambitious club," Dempsey said of Worcester.

"We're looking at this as an exciting opportunity for young players to step up to the mark."

Verdict: Leinster 'A'

Leinster 'A' - C Kelleher; S Coghlan Murray, B Te'o, N Reid, M McGrath; C Marsh, L McGrath (c); P Dooley, A Dundon, R Burke Flynn; R Molony, T Denton; B Marshall, D Leavy, P Timmins. Reps: B Byrne, I Hirst, T Beirne, J Coghlan, C Rock, S Crosbie, C O'Shea.

Irish Independent