Eagles team to face Munster ‘A’

The Connacht Eagles’ team to play Munster ‘A’ in Limerick tomorrow, Friday, has been named and Eagles’ Head Coach Nigel Carolan has included a number of experienced, senior players for the clash at Dooradoyle.

This will be the third time this season the two sides have met, with the Munster development team escaping the Sportsground with a two-point victory just last month.

Mayo man Gavin Duffy will captain the side tomorrow in a lively back three with wingers Danie Poolman and Matt Healy.

Miah Nikora will wear the Number 10 shirt in his first start since his return from injury this season while Cork native Frank Murphy is named at scrumhalf. Academy players Conor Finn and Darragh Leader form the centre partnership.

In the pack, Ronan Loughney returns from injury to start in a front row with Jack Dineen of the Connacht sub-Academy at hooker and veteran Nathan White at tighthead.

21-year-old Conor Gilsenan who arrived at Connacht on loan from Leinster only two weeks ago has been named at openside flanker and will be joined in the back row by Mata Fifita and last week’s PRO12 try scorer Eoin McKeon.

Munster ‘A’ v Connacht Eagles, Garryowen FC, Dooradoyle, Friday, March 7th at 3pm. Free entry.

Eagles team to face Munster ‘A’

15. Gavin Duffy (captain)

14. Danie Poolman

13. Conor Finn

12. Darragh Leader

11. Matt Healy

10. Miah Nikora

9. Frank Murphy

 

1. Ronan Loughney

2. Jack Dineen

3. Nathan White

4. Aly Muldowney

5. George Naoupu

6. Mata Fifita

7. Conor Gilsenan

8. Eoin McKeon

 

Replacements:

16. Conor Muldoon
17. Finlay Bealham
18. JP Cooney
19. David Nolan
20. Aaron Conneely
21. Marcus Walsh
22. Jack Carty
23. Rory Parata
24. Shane Layden

Commenting on the team selection, Eagles’ Head Coach Nigel Carolan said:

“We’ve played Munster twice already this season but it’s great to get another game in. We work hard every week in training but these games are important for guys to see where they are at. There are a good few of the senior players starting tomorrow as they’re either coming back from injury or need the game time ahead of the next block of PRO12 games.

“With James Rael injured and other hookers being rested, the opportunity has come up to give young Jack Dineen his first start in that position. It will be a great occasion for Jack who is making the transition from backrow to hooker and with an experienced pack around him, I’m sure he will rise to the challenge.”

Connacht Head Coach Pat Lam added:

“This is a great opportunity for players to push claims for selection ahead of our PRO12 game with the Dragons in two weeks’ time. We have a good mix of the young guys and the senior players coming back from injury or lacking game time, who know they will have to fight for a spot in the coming weeks. Competition for places is what we need to finish the season strongly.

“Munster have a talented squad and they will want to use this game as preparation for their B&I Cup quarter final against Leinster in April. But with guys pushing for places, I’ve no doubt this will be a hard-fought contest.”

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