ALAN Kennedy will captain the Ireland Club International squad for the 2020 series. The appointment was confirmed at the squad’s final training camp ahead of the first game against Scotland Club XV on Friday, January 31 in Galashiels.
“It was a great honour and a privilege to be named but this squad has great leaders in it, so it'll make my job a lot easier,” he told Irish Rugby TV in the below video.
“It was great to get all the lads in today, get in a session and get it announced and get on with the job.”
The second row is from Fedamore in Co. Limerick and has previous experience in the Club International setup having featured against English Counties in 2017. Kennedy is also a senior player with his club Young Munster.
“I've been club captain for two years and vice-captain the year before. The difference is that you know all the lads. You go in every day of the week and you've everyone around you.
“Here you're getting to know everyone, making sure everyone knows all the calls - really getting to know all the different characters around the AIL. It's about pulling everyone together and becoming a squad in a short period of time.
“The buzz is actually great,” he continued. “We're into the final camp. The game is next week and the Head Coach has made it really clear what he wants out of the squad. The sessions have been really sharp and he's been really ruthless about what he wants out of the squad.
“The team has been really focused and determined to get a result next week and I think we're ready for it.”
Ireland Club XV are the current holders of the Dalriada Cup, the trophy which goes to the side with the higher aggregate score over the two-match series. This year culminates again at Energia Park on Friday, February 7.Tickets are available now via Ticketmaster.
Six Limerick-based players have been included in the Ireland Club side to face the Scotland Club XV on Friday night. The six players to start are Garryowen full-back Jamie Hueston and 'Light Blues' second row Andrew Keating, while Shannon centre Pa Ryan, scrum-half Aran Hehir will also start the game. Young Munster are represented by captain Kennedy and flanker John Foley.
Two more Garryowen players are listed among the replacements, Corrie Barrett and Bryan Fitzgerald.
IRELAND CLUB: Jamie Heuston (Garryowen); Colm Hogan (Dublin University), Pa Ryan (Shannon), Peter Sylvester (UCC), Jack Ringrose (UCD); James Taylor (UCC), Aran Hehir (Shannon); Conor Maguire (Old Wesley), John Sutton (Cork Constitution), Andrew Keating (Garryowen); Brian Hayes (Cork Constitution), Alan Kennedy (Young Munster); Michael Melia (Terenure College), John Foley (Young Munster), Paul Derham (Old Wesley). Replacements: Adam Clarkin (Terenure College), Corrie Barrett (Garryowen), JP Phelan (Clontarf), Peter Claffey (Terenure College), Ryan Murphy (UCC), Gerry Hurley (Cork Constitution), Bryan Fitzgerald (Garryowen), Matthew Byrne (Terenure College)