The teams were announced yesterday for the Academy/A Interprovincial between Connacht Eagles and Ulster A that takes place this afternoon at The Showgrounds. Kick off 13:00.
Ulster A have made a few changes since their last outing with Jude Postlethwaite coming into the back three and Nathan Doak starting at scrumhalf.
Up front Dalriada old boy James McCormick comes in at hooker, Andrew Warwick at loosehead and Azur Allison comes in at No. 8. In a good week for teams in the North East, Coleraine Grammar former pupil Oscar Egan is the only new face on the bench.
Connacht appear to have gone for a slightly more experienced side but in Dylan Tierney-Martin, Oisin Dowling, Charlie Ward, Cormac Daly and Peter Sullivan they have fairly recent and fairly useful Ireland U20 graduates who should all get a run out.
I’d predicted an exciting game last time out for Ulster A but, going by the score line and clips of the match, the excitement was only occasional. Postlethwaite in for Ethan McIlroy is pretty much a like for like exchange in the back three, both players having a little bit of maverick about them! The move does see Conor Rankin revert to full back where I feel he is more suited and it gives him a few more options for displaying his well timed runs into the line.
James McCormack’s elevation is an interesting move in a hugely competitive position. At the minute he is looking at Rob Herring, John Andrew, Adam McBurney and Tom Stewart in his development pathway and they are all excellent. However, for what we have seen from McCormack with Dalriada and Ulster Schools he is more than able for the challenge.
The FRU Predicts: This will be another tight one, especially with the expected weather. However Ulster have that deadly backline that will just keep their heads in front.
|CONNACHT EAGLES||ULSTER A|
|Oran McNulty||15||Conor Rankin|
|Diarmuid Kilgallen||14||Jude Postlethwaite|
|Shane Jennings||13||Ben Moxham|
|Sean O’Brien||12||Hayden Hyde|
|Colm de Buitlear||11||Aaron Sexton|
|Conor Fitzgerald||10||Bill Johnston|
|Colm Reilly||9||Nathan Doak|
|Matthew Burke||1||Andrew Warwick|
|Dylan Tierney-Martin||2||James McCormick|
|Dominic Robertson-McCoy||3||Ross Kane|
|Oisin Dowling||4||Cormac Izuchukwu|
|Darragh Murray||5||Conor McMenamin|
|Ciaran Booth||6||David McCann (C)|
|Oisin McCormack||7||Marcus Rea|
|Donncha Byrne||8||Azur Allison|
|Declan Adamson||16||Bradley Roberts|
|Charlie Ward||17||Callum Reid|
|Conor Kenny||18||Oscar Egan|
|Cormac Daly||19||Harry Sheridan|
|Joshua Dunne||20||George Saunderson|
|Stephen Kerins||21||Lewis Finlay|
|Cathal Forde||22||Bruce Houston|
|Eoin de Buitlear||26|
Last time they met.
the last time these two sides met was, I believe, back in the Celtic Cup match in September 2019 at Ballymena RFC. Seems a million years ago now! You can read the full report here or have a quick shufty through the video below.