MUNSTER A, featuring 12 senior players, including Irish lock Donnacha Ryan, face Ulster Ravens in an attractive interprovincial clash at Nenagh Ormond RFC today, Thursday, at 4.30pm.
The return of Nenagh native Ryan to full fitness after a foot injury is a major boost for Munster with the Guinness PRO12 set to resume with the province’s clash with Connacht at Thomond Park on Saturday week. Ryan had been ruled out of action for almost a year.
Dolphin loosehead Peter McCabe joins Kevin O’Byrne, of UL-Bohs, and Stephen Archer in the front row for today’s A clash with Ulster Ravens, while Waterford native and current Lansdowne player Joe McSwiney partners Ryan in the second row.
An all-senior back row sees Shane Buckley, Sean Dougall and Paddy Butler line out at blindside flanker, openside and number 8 respectively.
Garryowen scrum half Neil Cronin teams up with Academy out-half and captain Rory Scannell at half-back, while Ivan Dineen brings a wealth of experience to the midfield, lining out alongside Academy centre Dan Goggin.
An all-senior back-three sees wingers Luke O’Dea and Andrew Conway joined by returning full-back Johne Murphy. Murphy has not featured for the province since sustaining a broken bone in his hand during training in January.
Ulster and Ireland out-half, Paddy Jackson, will make his return from injury for the Ravens at Nenagh Ormond.
Jackson dislocated his elbow against Toulon in the European Rugby Champions Cup match at Stade Mayol in January and will use the match to get game-time ahead of the resumption of the PRO12 next week. Admission to today’s A interprovincial is free.
MUNSTER ‘A’ (v Ulster Ravens): Johne Murphy; Andrew Conway, Dan Goggin, Ivan Dineen, Luke O’Dea; Rory Scannell (capt), Neil Cronin; Peter McCabe, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer, Joe McSwiney, Donnacha Ryan, Shane Buckley, Sean Dougall, Paddy Butler. Replacements: Niall Scannell, Liam O’Connor (Cork Constitution), John Ryan, Frank Bradshaw Ryan (Shannon), Ben Kilkenny (Young Munster), Jamie Glynn (Academy), Dave Johnston (Academy), Diarmaid McCarthy (Young Munster), Darren Sweetnam (Academy).
ULSTER RAVENS: J Owens, R Andrew, M Stanley, M Best, R Scholes, P Jackson, P Marshall: (1-8): A Warwick, J Andrew, B Ross, L Stevenson (Captain), N McComb, F Taggart, S Reidy, R Diack; Replacements (16-23): P Jackson, D Ryan, R Lutton, S Mulholland, D Shanahan, M Heaney, K Joyce, J Rosborough.