Sport Leinster Rugby

Saturday 22 September 2018

Leinster 'A' aim to start big finals weekend on perfect note

Adam Byrne. Photo: Sportsfile
Adam Byrne. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Five years after winning their first British and Irish Cup, Leinster 'A' will look to win their third this afternoon, before the competition is disbanded.

Ealing Trailfinders have had an excellent season, finishing only behind the money-laden Bristol in the Championship table, and they will be hoping that home advantage counts in their favour this afternoon (2.0).

Leinster's stunning comeback win away to Jersey Reds in the semi-final will give them the confidence that they can overturn the English side in their own backyard, but it won't be an easy task.

Noel McNamara's youngsters have played some thrilling rugby en route to the final and the head coach will again be looking to the experienced Adam Byrne to provide the spark in the backline.

The Ireland winger has had a tough season and will be hoping to give Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster something to think about for the Guinness PRO14 run-in with a good performance here.

breakthrough Ciarán Frawley has enjoyed a fine breakthrough campaign and the out-half will once again be key to his side's hopes of being crowned champions.

Leinster are captained by Bryan Byrne, who will feel that he isn't too far away from becoming Seán Cronin's understudy, while his twin brother Ed, starts alongside him in the front-row.

There is plenty of experience in the engine room with Ian Nagle partnering Mick Kearney.

The explosive Max Deegan starts at No 8.

Ealing also have Irish interest in their ranks, as Ballina, Co Tipperary native Shane O'Leary, who has had stints with Connacht and Grenoble before going on to be capped by Canada, will pull the strings from out-half.

O'Leary's back-up is Kilkenny man Peter Lydon, who played in the AIL with Seapoint before securing a contract with Stade Francais.

It will take a big performance from Leinster 'A' to get the job done, but they are well capable.

If they manage to do so, it could potentially kick off a stunning day for the eastern province.

Verdict: Leinster 'A'

Ealing Trailfinders - L Daniels; S Stegmann, P O'Conor, J Munro, J Corry-Redden; S O'Leary, L Carter; W Davis, A Walker, L Thiede; S Dickinson, H Casson; K Murphy, R Smid, M Bright (capt). Reps: R Lawrence, J Gibbons, M Tampin, O Curry, D Temm; C Waters, P Lydon.

Leinster 'A' - J Kelly; A Byrne, G Mullin, C O'Brien, T O'Brien; C Frawley, C Rock; E Byrne, B Byrne (capt), V Abdaladze; M Kearney, I Nagle; J Murphy, P Timmins, M Deegan. Reps: S McNulty, P Dooley, J Aungier, C Doris, W Connors, H O'Sullivan, T Daly.

Ealing Trailfinders v Leinster 'A', live on Leinster Rugby Facebook page, 2.0

Irish Independent

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