Sunday 25 February 2018

O'Donnell set for Munster comeback in B&I Cup clash

Munster’s Tommy O’Donnell. Photo: Sportsfile
Munster’s Tommy O’Donnell. Photo: Sportsfile

Daragh Small

Reigning B&I Cup champions Munster 'A' are looking to go top of Pool 1 when they host Bedford Blues at Irish Independent Park this evening.

Ireland international Tommy O'Donnell returns from injury and is in line to play for the first time in six weeks against the English Championship outfit.

This match would put the 30-year-old openside flanker back in contention for the return fixture of Munster's crucial back-to-back Champions Cup games against Leicester Tigers.

Munster 'A' head coach Pete Malone has made four changes to his side which beat Nottingham 38-7 last time out on October 20.

There are three changes in the pack where loosehead prop Joey Conway comes into the side and makes his B&I Cup debut. In the second-row, Fineen Wycherley starts after being on the bench last time out, while O'Donnell adds considerable experience to the back-row.

Alteration

There is just one alteration in the back-line where Munster academy and Ireland Sevens centre Alex McHenry starts alongside captain David Johnston.

In Pool 2, leaders Leinster 'A' travel to Ashton Gate to take on a Bristol side which has won all 11 championship games since Pat Lam took charge.

There is plenty of senior experience in the Leinster 'A' ranks with recent debutants, prop Vakh Abdaladze and lock Josh Murphy, both in the pack.

There are three changes in the Leinster 'A' back-line from their win over Cardiff Blues. Charlie Rock starts at scrum-half, while Gavin Mullan starts at outside centre with Jack Kelly on the right wing as coach Noel McNamara looks for a big performance in what could be a difficult task.

 

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