THE experienced quartet of Denis Hurley, Johne Murphy, Dave Foley and Ian Nagle have been named in Ian Costello’s Munster ‘A’ side for Saturday’s big British and Irish Cup pool match with Rotherham Titans at Clifton Lane (2pm).
Head coach Costello also has also included youngsters, Ryan Murphy, Jack O’Donoghue and Brian Slater in his squad to take on the Titans, with Murphy getting the nod to start in the back-row.
Academy back row O’Donoghue from Waterford and Dolphin clubman Slater are both named on a bench that includes Deasy who understudies JJ Hanrahan on this occasion. First year Academy back-row Murphy is a former Ireland Schools and Under 19s international and most recently made his first Munster A Interpro appearance against against Leinster A. The Titans currently head Pool 7 of the B&I Cup one point ahead of Munster A. The sides will meet in the second of their back-to-back pool fixtures at Musgrave Park on Friday, December 14.
Costello is well aware of the task they face on Saturday. “Look, they’re a good championship side,” Costello stressed.
“We played Plymouth and found it very very tough to break them down over there. So to travel to Rotherham, it’s going to be similar.” he said after training today.
“On paper they (Rotherham) are stronger (than Plymouth). They put 50 points on them and we struggled to beat them. It was a very tough close game. So from our point of view it’s going to be a very big challenge.”
“There are quite a few back row injuries so we’re lacking a bit of experience there but on the other side of the coin we have some very exciting young players from our Academy that are going to come in and get an opportunity this week. So it’ll great to see how they get on with that challenge.
“We’ve managed to get a look at a few of their games. What we do is, let the lads themselves do the analysis, look at various aspects of the opposition’s game. From what we’ve seen, they’re a very good side but we’ll have our homework done and hopefully be well prepared come Saturday.”
Munster ‘A’: Denis Hurley; Luke O’Dea, Danny Barnes, Ivan Dineen, Johne Murphy; JJ Hanrahan, Cathal Sheridan; James Cronin, Sean Henry, John Ryan; Dave Foley, Ian Nagle; Brian Hayes, Ryan Murphy, Shane Buckley. Replacements: Duncan Casey, Christy Condon, Philip Donnellan, Jack O’Donoghue, Brian Slater, Scott Deasy, Ronan O’Mahony.