Stephen Fitzgerald starts at full-back for the Munster A side in their Celtic Cup opener against Connacht in Cork
THE Munster A team to face Connacht A in The Celtic Cup on Friday evening at Musgrave Park, 5.30pm, has been named by head coach Peter Malone.
Darren O’Shea captains the side with 10 Greencore Munster Rugby Academy players included along with a number of senior and club players.
It is an all-senior back three as Stephen Fitzgerald starts at full-back with Calvin Nash and Alex Wootton on either flank.
An Academy centre pairing of Alex McHenry and Matt More is outside the senior half-back partnership of James Hart and Bill Johnston.
Academy hooker Diarmuid Barron starts with senior props Jeremy Loughman and Ciaran Parker on either side of the scrum.
Darren O’Shea and Academy man Sean O’Connor are partnered together in the engine room.
The back row includes UCC’s John Hodnett and Academy players Jack Daly and Gavin Coombes.
Young Munster and former PBC hooker Billy Scannell, brother of senior players Niall and Rory, is among the replacements.
Prop Cronan Gleeson, who trained with the senior squad throughout pre-season, is included in the squad along with Academy prop Keynan Knox.
Cork Constitution’s Evan Mintern and Young Munster man Dan Walsh also take their place among the replacements along with Academy trio Jack Stafford (scrum-half), Ben Healy (out-half) and Liam Coombes (back three).
MUNSTER A: Stephen Fitzgerald; Calvin Nash, Matt More, Alex McHenry, Alex Wootton; Bill Johnston, James Hart; Jeremy Loughman, Diarmuid Barron, Ciaran Parker; Darren O'Shea (C), Sean O'Connor; Jack Daly, John Hodnett, Gavin Coombes. Replacements: Billy Scannell, Cronan Gleeson, Keynan Knox, Evan Mintern, Dan Walsh, Jack Stafford, Ben Healy, Liam Coombes.