Star showing earns Ronaldson 10 shirt
One of the stand-out fixtures of the club calendar takes place in Cork Constitution’s Temple Hill grounds at 7.30 tonight when the Ireland Club XV renew annual hostilities with the English Counties, who won last season’s encounter 34-16 in Preston.
A starring role in Lansdowne’s 27-25 win over Dolphin at Musgrave Park appears to have helped Craig Ronaldson earn the number 10 jersey ahead of replacement outhalf Barry Keeshan, his opposite number in last Saturday’s thriller.
Ronaldson kicked 17 points as Lansdowne extended their lead at the top of the Ulster Bank League Division 1A to seven points.
In also retaining Cork Con’s Gerry Hurley as scrumhalf and captain, coaches Conor Twomey and David Murphy have picked the same half-backs and indeed midfield partnership as last year. New caps Darragh Fanning, Tim McCoy and Richie Mullane make up an exciting back three.
Up front, Ed Kelly packs down alongside Ben Reilly in the second row while William Ryan joins Danny Kenny and the highly experienced, sometime club XV captain, Frank Cogan in the backrow.
Ireland are defending an unbeaten record at home against the England Counties, beating them 16-8 in Anglesea Road two seasons ago.