An extended 32-man Ireland Club International squad has been named by Head Coach Morgan Lennon for the upcoming Dalriada Cup games against Scotland Clubs on February 1 and 8
14 clubs from the All-Ireland League are represented among the 32 players with Old Wesley's Lennon and Assistant Coach Johne Murphy (Naas RFC) at the helm for a third year.
Garryowen's Liam Cronin's inclusion continues a proud history at this level for the Cronin family - his brother Neil made eight appearances in a Club International jersey prior to linking up with Munster on a full-time basis this season.
Garryowen team mate Andrew Keating is also named as is Young Munsters' Dan Walsh. Former Crescent College school's star JJ O'Neill, now of Cork Con is also included.
Indeed, seven of the squad come from current All-Ireland League Division 1A leaders Cork Constitution, including Brian Hayes - one of 19 players uncapped at this level.
Prop Ian Prendiville is the most experienced of Lansdowne's six-strong contingent with five Club XV appearances to date, despite missing out on the 2018 series.
Matt D'Arcy is among the five Clontarf players named in the squad. The centre could make a record eighth Club XV start during the two-game series. The record for most caps is held by Dolphin's Barry Keeshan who made seven starts in 11 appearances while scoring a record 51 points.
Peter Starrett could become the first City of Armagh player to contest a Club International. There are two players each from Old Wesley and Naas with one player each drawn from Buccaneers, Malone and Old Belvedere.
Speaking at the squad's first camp at Ashbourne RFC, Head Coach Morgan Lennon said: "It's such a tough selection process because there are so many quality players in the league. What we're looking for is leadership. We will give them the framework to work in and it will be down to the right players to make the right decisions on the field.
"We played poorly for 40 minutes in Scotland last year and we lost the Dalriada Cup on the back of that. The guys that were involved last year know the standard required if we are going to win this. We know where we have to get to by February 1st and again for the home game on February 8th."
IRELAND CLUB INTERNATIONAL Squad (v Scotland Clubs February 2019)
Alan Bennie (Lansdowne)
Harry Brennan (Lansdowne)
Michael Brown (Clontarf)
Royce Burke Flynn (Clontarf)
Luke Cahill (Cork Constitution) *
Adam Coyle (Naas) *
Liam Cronin (Garryowen)
Matt D'Arcy (Clontarf)
Cronan Gleeson (Old Wesley)
Brian Hayes (Cork Constitution) *
Andrew Keating (Garryowen) *
Jack Keating (Old Belvedere) *
Niall Kenneally (Cork Constitution)
Tom Kiersey (Old Wesley) *
Conor Kindregan (Cork Constitution) *
Dan McEvoy (Lansdowne)
Joe McSwiney (Cork Constitution)
Michael Melia (Terenure College)
Eamonn Mills (Lansdowne)
Aidan Moynihan (Cork Constitution) *
Michael Noone (Clontarf)
JJ O'Neill (Cork Constitution) *
Peter Osbourne (Naas)
Tom O'Reilly (St. Mary's College) *
Jack O'Sullivan (Lansdowne) *
John Poland (UCC) *
Ian Prendiville (Lansdowne)
Tony Ryan (Clontarf)
Callum Smith (Malone) *
Peter Starrett (City of Armagh) *
John Sutton (Buccaneers)
Dan Walsh (Young Munster) *
* Denotes previously-capped player at this level
Head Coach - Morgan Lennon
Assistant Coach - Johne Murphy
Team Manager - Maurice Hartery
Baggage Master - David Jermyn
Strength & Conditioning Coach - Cathal Murtagh
Doctor - Stuart O'Flanagan
Physio - Ailbe McCormack
2019 CLUB INTERNATIONAL FIXTURES:
Scotland Clubs v Ireland Club XV
Friday, February 1, kick-off 7.30pm
Myerside Stadium, Edinburgh
Ireland Clubs v Scotland Clubs
Friday, February 8, kick-off 7.30pm
Energia Park, Donnybrook
Ireland Club XV Top Scorers - Points:
Barry Keeshan (Dolphin) 51
Craig Ronaldson (Lansdowne) 37
Scott Deasy (Lansdowne) 26
Ireland Club XV Top Scorers - Tries:
Barry O'Mahony (Clontarf), Mark Roche (Lansdowne) 4
Frank Cogan (Clontarf/Cork Constitution), Simon Crawford (Clontarf), Paddy Finlay (Clontarf/Dublin University), Daniel Riordan (Old Belvedere) 3
Ireland Club XV Caps:
Barry Keeshan (Dolphin) 11
Frank Cogan (Clontarf/Cork Constitution), Gerry Hurley (Garryowen/Cork Constitution) 10
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.