Tuesday 12 November 2019

Scannell central to Munster A's hopes

Munster ‘A’ head coach has included Donncha O’Callaghan in his side to take on Doncaster Knights this afternoon
Munster ‘A’ head coach has included Donncha O’Callaghan in his side to take on Doncaster Knights this afternoon
Fresh from his try-scoring performance in last week’s win over Castres, Luke McGrath captains the side and partners Ross Byrne at half-back.

Munster 'A' head coach has included Donncha O'Callaghan in his side to take on Doncaster Knights in this afternoon's (2.00) British and Irish Cup quarter-final.

The vastly experienced lock partners youngster Lee Nicholas in the second-row while Sean Dougall is also included as he continues his comeback from injury.

Munster's hosts Doncaster are struggling in the English Championship and are currently just one place off the foot of the table.

Knights are without a league win since September as the pressure mounts on their coach Clive Griffiths. In a hugely exciting back three, Stephen Fitzgerald and Greg O'Shea both start, three days after being named in Ireland's U20 Six Nations squad while Darren Sweetnam celebrates his contract extension with a start on the right wing.

Munster 'A's highest points scorer in the competition, Rory Scannell, continues at out-half and will be eager to build on his good form in the competition.

If Munster can get their back-line moving, they should have enough to seal their place in the last four.

Verdict: Munster 'A'

Munster 'A' - S Fitzgerald; D Sweetnam, D Johnston, G Lyons, G O'Shea; R Scannell, N Cronin; L O'Connor, N Scannell, G Sweeney; D O'Callaghan, L Nicholas; S Buckley, S Dougall, J O'Donoghue (c). Reps: K O'Byrne, P McCabe, D Lavery, F Bradshaw-Ryan, B Kilkeny, J Cullen, D Goggin.

Leinster's young guns set to shine

Leinster 'A's 'reward' for completely dominating their British and Irish Cup pool is a tricky looking away trip to Rotherham to take on the Titans (2.00).

Girvan Dempsey's side were beaten just once in the pool stages and have an identical winning record as this afternoon's opponents. Dempsey named a youthful side for this quarter-final.

Fresh from his try-scoring performance in last week's win over Castres, Luke McGrath captain the side and partners Ross Byrne at half-back.

Cian Kelleher, Garry Ringrose and Sam Coghlan-Murray start in the back three and between them, they have a frightening amount of pace that will cause Rotherham a lot of problems.

There is plenty of experience in the second row in the shape of Tom Denton who will start alongside Ross Molony.

Rotherham currently sit in fifth place of the Championship table and advanced from a pool that included Ulster Ravens.

Former Munster player Sean Scanlon starts at full-back while former Ireland U20 out-half James McKinney is named on the bench.

Rotherham will be a tough nut to crack but this is a young Leinster side brimming with quality and potential.

Verdict: Leinster 'A'

Leinster 'A' - C Kelleher; G Ringrose, B Macken, C O'Shea, S Coghlan-Murray; R Byrne, L McGrath ©; P Dooley, B Byrne, O Heffernan; R Molony, T Denton; B Marshall, J Van Der Flier, P Timmins. Reps: J Tracy, I Prendiville, T Beirne, J Coghlan, N McCarthy, S Crosbie, B Dardis.

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