Monday 19 March 2018

Malone hoping to fine-tune B&I Cup plan against Ulster

Declan rooney

Munster 'A' coach Peter Malone is hopeful he can get another inter-provincial run-out against Ulster Ravens ahead of their first British and Irish Cup clash with Stirling County on October 12.

Malone's men produced an impressive 20-12 victory over Connacht Eagles in last week's first 'A' game of the season at Musgrave Park, and with just three weeks to go to their B&I Cup bow in Bandon, Malone is keeping his fingers crossed for another outing before that clash.

"We are looking to reschedule the Ulster game to get it played before our first B&I Cup game," he said. "Ideally, if we could get it played about 10 days before Stirling, it would be perfect and it would give the lads another chance to get to know each other better.

"It would really suit us to play it and I think Ulster would like it too, as they have not played yet this year. But it's a busy time of the year, with club games kicking off and first-teams duties, so we'll just have to wait and see."

As well as clashing with the Scottish side, Munster 'A' face difficult tests against English championship sides Plymouth Albion and Nottingham.

And Malone has already begun his research on the English outfits, thanks to Sky Sports coverage of the second-tier English competition, and has already looked at Plymouth's five-try win over Jersey.

"Last weekend was great, we got to sit down and watch Plymouth against Jersey," he said. "I suppose it is to our advantage that they are not showing the Premiership any more. Both themselves and Nottingham look very strong and will really put it up to us.

"But once the Lions and Irish lads come back into the senior squad here, our group's experience will be naturally increased too."

Added to their B&I Cup duties, Munster 'A' will play Leinster in Clonmel in November, with the return inter-pro fixtures taking place in the new year.

Irish Independent

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