Walsh names Irish club side to face English

Coach Brian Walsh has named a strong AIB Club International XV to take on an England Counties XV this Friday night in Donnybrook (kick off 5pm).

Coach Brian Walsh has named a strong AIB Club International XV to take on an England Counties XV this Friday night in Donnybrook (kick off 5pm).

The side has a fresh look with six players returning to the club side that beat their Scotland counterparts.

Ruairi Cushion (Old Belvedere) and Barry Keeshan (Dolphin) renew their half-back partnership, while Cork Con flyer Cronan Healy is also named in the back line.

Up front, Highfield's Martin Gately and Alan Maher of Lansdowne are also back from last season. Hugh Hogan of St Mary's College, who featured against Scotland last year, has been named as captain.

Commenting on the game, Walsh said: "We have introduced a number of new faces to this year's squad and hopefully that will bring the same sort of enthusiasm and the same results that we had last year and in previous years.

"The lads have done very well in the sessions that we have had, so we hope that we will be in for another entertaining match, particularly after last year's fantastic spectacle against Scotland.

"The opportunity to represent Irish rugby at any level is an honour and something that many of the AIB League club players may never have had the chance do again, so the Club International is really becoming an objective for many of the players in the AIB League.

"We want to enjoy the match, as any fixture against our old rivals England is always a great occasion, but we also want to win the game and show the high level of commitment and talent that the club game has to offer."

AIB Club Internationals XV v England Counties XV:

15-Ed Torrie (U.L. Bohemians)

14-Cronan Healy (Cork Constitution)

13-Darragh Fitzpatrick (Blackrock College)

12-Philip Brophy (St Mary’s College)

11-Derek Corcoran (Young Munster)

10-Barry Keeshan (Dolphin)

9-Ruairi Cushion (Old Belvedere)

1- Martin Gately (Highfield)

2-Brett McNamee (Dungannon)

3-Kevin Moran (Buccaneers)

4-Alan Maher (Lansdowne)

5-Marc Warburton (Old Wesley)

6-Kevin Croke (UCD)

7-Barry O'Mahony (Dolphin)

8-Hugh Hogan (St Mary’s College) (C)

Replacements:

16-Robert Quinn (Lansdowne)

17-Colum Murphy (Lansdowne)

18-Alex Dunlop (Terenure College)

19-Ron Boucher (Lansdowne)

20-Sam Cronin (UCC)

21-Killian Lett (UCD)

22-Tadgh Bennett (Shannon)

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