Cipriani hoping to find his best form

DANNY CIPRIANI is one of six capped players named in the England Saxons side to face Ireland A at Donnybrook. The Wasps fly-half was sent down to the Saxons by Martin Johnson earlier this week in the hope of him rediscovering some of his form, away from the pressures of the 6 Nations.

Cipriani is charged with unleashing an exciting back division which will feature senior internationals Topsy Ojo on the wing and Nick Abendanon at full-back on Friday night.

The powerful Bath winger Matt Banahan completes the back three, while Harlequins’ England U20s star Jordan Turner-Hall will make his first Saxons appearance alongside Dominic Waldouck in midfield. Paul Hodgson is on standby to start at scrum-half if Harry Ellis is required by the senior squad to replace the injured Danny Care. Up front, the Saxons feature an all-Harlequins back row in the shape of Will Skinner, Tom Guest and Chris Robshaw.

Meanwhile the Ireland U20 team to face France in Dubarry Park tomorrow night has been named by coach Allen Clarke (7.30pm).

Ian Madigan is selected at full- back with David Kearney, brother of senior full-back Rob, selected on the wing. Eamonn Sheridan, who along with Madigan and Kearney were members of the squad last year, lines out in the centre. There is an all-Garryowen half-back combination with club mates Andrew Burke and Conor Murray paired for their first competitive start together at this level. No 8 Peter O’Mahony will lead the side as part of a physical back-row unit that includes Dominic Ryan and Rhys Ruddock, younger brother of second row Ciaran Ruddock, who was part of the U19 side last year.

Clark said: “The attitude of the whole group has been excellent. There were some tight selections, but the players chosen have been performing consistently well for their respective clubs. I am very pleased with the standards set on and off the field — the reality is to produce an accurate performance on Friday night. France will be a huge test, but one the players are looking forward to.”

Meanwhile the Irish women’s and colleges teams to play French sides in France on Friday night were also finalised.

The women’s team will be hoping to build on last year’s fourth-place finish and their recent strong performance against a select England side in December. Coach Steve Hennessy said: “I have been really impressed with the skills, dedication and commitment the girls have shown over the last number of weeks, I am just looking at the French game for now and with them first up at home, it is a real chance for us to set out our stall for the rest of the season.”

IRELAND U20 TEAM v France U20: I Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster), D Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster), I McKinley (UCD/Leinster), E Sheridan (Lansdowne/Leinster), M Keating (Clontarf/Leinster), A Burke (Garryowen/Munster), C Murray (Garryowen/Munster), J McGrath (St Mary’s College/Leinster), T Sexton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), J O’Connell (Lansdowne/Leinster), C Ruddock (Neath), M Flanagan (UCD/Leinster), R Ruddock (Neath), D Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster), P O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster).

Replacements: D McGregor (Ballynahinch/Ulster), P McAllister (Ballynahinch/Ulster), J Sandford (Queens University/Ulster), M Noone (Seapoint & Lansdowne/Leinster), J Cooney (UCD/Leinster), G Foley (Blackrock College/Leinster), M Doyle (UL Bohemians/Munster).

IRELAND WOMEN v France: J O’Sullivan, (Richmond/ Ulster), J Feighery, (UL Bohemians/ Munster), L Cantwell, (UL Bohemians/ Munster), H Brosnan, (Highfield/Munster), A Davis, (Blackrock/Ulster), N Briggs, (Clonmel/ Munster), T Rosser, (Blackrock/ Leinster), F Coghlan, (UL Bohemians/Leinster), Y Nolan, (Blackrock/ Leinster), G Bourke, (UL Bohemians/Munster), C Mahon, (UL Bohemians/Leinster), O Brennan, (Blackrock/ Leinster), L Austin, (Blackrock/ Leinster), S Ryan, (Blackrock/ Leinster), J Neville, (Shannon/ Munster (Captain) Replacements: J Limbert (Cooke/ Ulster), E McManamly (Blackrock/ Leinster), K O’Loughlin (Clonmel/ Munster), C Molloy (Cardiff Harlequins/ Connacht), L Beamish (UL Bohemians/ Munster), S Houston (Blackrock/ Leinster), G Davitt (Blackrock/ Leinster).

IRISH COLLEGES: J Nicol, Stranmillis College, Belfast (Ballymena), P Howard, Design Inst Art Tech, Dun Laoghaire (Clontarf), P O’Toole, Garda College (Connemara), M O’Shea, Garda College (Suttonians), D Rowan , Inst Art Design Tech, Dun Laoghaire (Blackrock), P DeBarra, Institute of Technology, Carlow (DLSP), B O’Brien, Blackhall Place, Dublin (Wanderers), S Cahill, Dun Laoghaire VEC (Blackrock), J Taggart, University of Ulster, Jordonstown, Ballymena, S Snell, National College of Ireland (Greystones), B Holmes, Damien Carley, Institute of Technology, Carlow (Co Carlow), B Reilly, Dublin City University (Suttonians), J Downey, Sallynoggin VEC (Greystones), D Kenny, Dun Laoghaire VEC (Greystones), H Hogan, Griffith College Dublin (St Mary’s).

Replacements: A Guiry, Limerick Institute of Technology (Nenagh), J Taggert, University of Ulster, Jordanstown (Ballymena), J Morgan University of Ulster, Jordonstown (Ballymena), D Carley Institute of Technology, Carlow (Co Carlow), I Cullinan, National University Ireland, Galway (Galwegians), B Moroney, Institute of Technology, Tallagh (Terenure), C Morrin, Institute of Technology, Tallaght (St Mary’s), D Fanning, Institute of Technology, Tallaght (St Mary’s).

ENGLAND SAXONS (v Ireland A): N Abendanon (Bath), T Ojo (London Irish), D Waldouck (Wasps), J Turner-Hall (Harlequins), M Banahan (Bath), D Cipriani (Wasps), H Ellis (Leicester)/P Hodgson (London Irish); M Mullan (Worcester), D Paice (London Irish), D Wilson (Newcastle), J Crane (Leicester), G Skivington (Wasps, captain), C Robshaw (Harlequins), W Skinner (Harlequins), T Guest (Harlequins).

Replacements: R Webber (Wasps), D Cole (Leicester), S Hooper (Bath), P Dowson (Newcastle), P Hodgson (London Irish)/J Simpson (Wasps), S Myler (Northampton), D Strettle (Harlequins).

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