Saturday 24 February 2018

Ravens name experienced side to boost last-eight bid

The backline looks exciting with James McKinney pulling the strings from fly-half
The backline looks exciting with James McKinney pulling the strings from fly-half

Having lost two of their Pool 6 games, Ulster Ravens face an uphill task if they are to advance to the quarter-finals.

They trail table-toppers Cornish Pirates by 11 points and with just two games remaining, their focus is now on claiming one of the two best runners-up spots.

Maximum points from their remaining games will give them a fighting chance of advancing.

The Ravens just beat Jersey at Ravenhill in October. The Channel Islanders sit one place off the bottom of the English Championship and with their interest in the British & Irish Cup all but ended, their attention is likely to be on their relegation battle.

Ulster have named an experienced side, with 13 of the starting players having represented the senior team this season.

Lewis Stevenson will captain the side from the second-row alongside Neil McComb. A front-row of Kyle McCall, Niall Annett and Ricky Lutton should cause plenty of problems for the hosts. Ireland U-20 flanker Conor Joyce joins Josh Atkinson and Mike McComish in the back-row.

The backline looks exciting, with James McKinney pulling the strings from fly-half. Stuart McCloskey partners Ricky Andrew in the centre while the pacy David McIlwaine shifts from the wing to full-back.

Jersey announced last week that Harvey Biljon would be taking over as head coach and although their interim boss Steve Boden is still in charge for today's game, the players selected will be eager to impress the on-looking new boss.

Verdict: Ulster Ravens

Jersey -- J Burroughs; G Pointer, D Locke, D Bishop, M Foster; N O'Connor J Williams; S McCarthy, E Taione, D Young; D Markham, A Rae (capt); L Makaafi, J Buckle, F Silcock. Reps: D Felton, N Selway, J Voss, R Anderson, N Griffiths, J Dudley, J Copsey.

Ulster Ravens -- D McIlwaine; C Cochrane, R Andrew, S McCloskey, P Nelson; J McKinney, M Heaney; K McCall, N Annett, R Lutton; L Stevenson (capt), N McComb; C Joyce, J Atkinson, M McComish. Reps: P Jackson, A Warwick, A Macklin, M Campbell, L Dow, D Shanahan, D Busby.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport