Paul O'Connell's winning start to Munster coaching career

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Paul O'Connell's winning start to Munster coaching career

PAUL O’Connell’s first coaching role with a Munster representative side ended in victory as a Munster Development XV defeated an Ireland U-20 XV 35-21 at Thomond Park on Thursday.

Munster’s Elite Player Development Officer Greig Oliver was head coach to the Munster Development XV, with Paul O'Connell serving as Assistant Coach in his first coaching involvement with a representative side.

Former Munster captain O'Connell rejoined the province last July in a part-time advisory role with the Munster Rugby Academy.

Munster’s 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 which created the opportunity for O’Connell to have a coaching role with the Munster Development side at Thomond Park.

Munster's Alan Tynan, Alex McHenry, James Lennon, Adam Moloney and Joey Conway all featured for the Ireland squad while academy lock Fineen Wycherley, Jack Stafford, Conor Fitzgerald and Liam Coombes lined out for the province.

With the hosts leading 28-0 at the interval the young Irish side fought their way back to score 21 points in the second forty to give a final score of 35-21.

Munster's try scorers were Rory Burke, Bailey Faloon, John Madigan, David McCarthy and Greg O'Shea, while Shannon outhalf Conor Fitzgerald enjoyed a 100% record off the tee, kicking all five conversions.

Jordan Larmour, Caelan Dorris and Tommy O'Brien all crossed for the visitors with Conor Dean and Ciarán Frawley kicking conversions.

MUNSTER DEVELOPMENT XV: Steven McMahon (Stephen Fitzgerald 52); Liam Coombes, David Johnston (Capt), David McCarthy, Greg O'Shea; Conor Fitzgerald (Alex Molloy 66), Jack Stafford (Jack Lyons 52); Liam O'Connor (James French 58), Niall Mulcahy (D Barron 63), Rory Burke (Rob O'Donovan 63); Fineen Wycherley, John Madigan (Ronan Coffey 40); Bailey Falloon, Jack Daly, Evan Mintern.

IRELAND U-20 XV: Alan Tynan; Jordan Larmour, Jack Kelly, Alex McHenry, Tommy O'Brien; Conor Dean, James Lennon; Greg McGrath, Shane O'Hehir, Ciarán McHugh; Jack Regan, Oisin Dowling; Caelan Dorris, Sean Masterson, Marcus Rae. Replacements: Adam Moloney, Joey Conway, Cillian Gallagher, Richard Dunne, Ryan Feehily, Ciarán Frawley, Colm de Buitleár, Conor Kelly.