FORMER Munster captain Paul O’Connell will have his first coaching involvement with a representative side at Thomond Park this Thursday, December 29, 1pm.
O’Connell will be an assistant coach when a Munster Development XV take on an Ireland U-20 selection at Thomond Park.
Munster Elite Player Development Officer Greig Oliver is the Munster side’s head coach, with O'Connell the Assistant Coach.
O'Connell rejoined the province last July in a part-time advisory role with the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy.
As Elite Player Development Manager Peter Malone is in camp with the Ireland U20s and Elite Player Development Officer Colm McMahon is involved with the Ireland U18 Schools Development Squad, O'Connell will assist Oliver for the clash.
Garryowen’s David Johnston wiil captain the Munster Development XV for the game.
Six Greencore academy players are named in the starting line-up - Liam O'Connor, Rory Burke, Fineen Wycherley, Gavin Coombes, Greg O'Shea and Steven McMahon - with Wycherley and Coombes members of the Ireland U20 training panel but wearing red on this occasion.
Academy fullback/winger Stephen Fitzgerald has successfully rehabbed an ankle injury to be included in the replacements.
Shannon's Jack Stafford and Conor Fitzgerald, brother of Stephen, are also Ireland U20s panellists and start as the half-back pairing, with Garryowen winger Liam Coombes the final inclusion from the U20s panel.
MUNSTER DEVELOPMENT XV: Steven McMahon; Liam Coombes (Garryowen), David Johnston (Capt.), David McCarthy (Garryowen), Greg O'Shea; Conor Fitzgerald (Shannon), Jack Stafford (Shannon); Liam O'Connor, Niall Mulcahy (Shannon), Rory Burke; Fineen Wycherley, John Madigan; Bailey Fallon (Garryowen), Jack Daly (Castleisland), Gavin Coombes. Replacements: Diarmuid Barron (UCC), James French (Bandon Grammar), Rob O'Donovan (UCC), Ronan Coffey (Shannon), Evan Mintern (Cork Con), Jack Lyons (Young Munster), Alex Molloy (Waterpark), Stephen Fitzgerald.