After an impressive 14-8 win over Ireland at stormy Ravenhill on Saturday, the Australian Schools are confident of ending their Britain and Ireland tour with victory against Munster at Thomond Park today (5pm).
The tourists defeated Scotland but were beaten by England and by Wales and lost a substantial half-time lead before losing to Leinster at Donnybrook.
They have chosen a blend of their first-choice players mingled with some younger members of the squad and are hopeful of enjoying favourable conditions to exploit their preference for an open and expansive game.
Munster coach Keith Murphy will be fielding a well prepared squad that has benefited from a tour of the UK where they played Clermont Auvergne, Cardiff and Leicester. They recently defeated Leinster in the Interprovincial Championship after losing by three points to Connacht and Ulster. Further outings in recent weeks against Cork Con and UL Bohemian should also have them extremely sharp for this encounter.
The team includes a number of players who have made their mark in the Schools Cup competitions in recent years and is captained by Garryowen centre Steven McMahon.
Greg O’Shea and Gearoid Lyons, both members of the Crescent team that won the Senior Cup last season now starring for Shannon in the AIL, are also included in the squad.
“This is our chance to show the progress we’ve made since the summer and the players are really looking forward to this challenge,” said Murphy. “The Australians have been beaten by England and Wales but touring teams tend to progress and get stronger as their tour develops and having them at the tail end will prove a huge challenge for us.”
MUNSTER: S Fitzgerald (Ard Scoil Ris); G O’Shea (Shannon), McMahon Cpt (Garryowen), JJ O’Neill (Crescent) B Murphy (Highfield); T Quinlan (Cork Con), D O’Mahony (Rockwell); L O’Connor (CBC), J Boland (Dublin Uni), M O’Donnell (Crescent); F Bradshaw Ryan (Shannon), J Keane (Crescent); B Kilkenny (Munchin’s), L O’Leary (UCC), M Murphy (Cork Con). Replacements: L O’Halloran (Munchin’s), i Ademakin (Garryowen), J O’Halloran (Ard Scoil Ris), A Hogan (UCC), C Blake (Crescent), J Poland (PBC) , G Lyons (Shannon), P Kiernan (PBC).
AUSTRALIA SCHOOLS: A Henley, H Jones, A Kellaway, K Morgan, J Todd; M Third, M Short; F Sa’aga, A Mafi, M Gibbon; L Cannell, M Jones; D Morris, T Tai, W Vosayaco. Replacements: E Guttenbeil, V Fifita, J Anderson, L Faka’osilea, J McCalman, A Deegan, T Milne, H Hutchinson.
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