Irish management monitoring prospects in pre-season friendlies
Michael Bent and Gordon D’Arcy among those in action for Leinster against Moseley
Ireland’s Michael Bent is tackled by Scotland’s Grant Gilchrist during the World Cup warm-up match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photo Niall Carson/PA
The Ireland management will be keeping a close eye on the performances of Michael Bent and Gordon D’Arcy in tonight’s pre-season friendly against Moseley at Donnybrook (7.30). Isaac Boss, Jack Conan and Fergus McFadden have been included among the replacements.
Irish assistant coach Les Kiss explained earlier in the week that Joe Schmidt and his management team will watch footage of matches involving Leinster, Munster and Ulster in which players released from the Ireland camp will play.
The provinces are facilitating players returning from injury and those who need a competitive environment to sharpen their games. Schmidt will inform the players of the composition of the 31-man World Cup squad on Sunday, 24 hours after Ireland play Wales at the Aviva stadium.
Bent, who twice came on as a replacement in Irish warm-up games against Wales (Cardiff) and Scotland (Dublin), and D’Arcy, who started the Scottish match will both have their performances at Donnybrook monitored.
Kevin McLaughlin returns after an eight-month injury layoff to captain Leinster, while Isa Nacewa is given his first start since returning to the province, in a side that shows 10 changes from that which beat Ulster last Friday.
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has opted for a mixture of youth and experience with three academy players selected to start: Adam Byrne, Peter Dooley and Peadar Timmins.
Meanwhile Munster head coach Anthony Foley has made nine changes to the team for tonight’s visit of London Irish to Musgrave Park. In the pack John Ryan joins Mike Sherry and Stephen Archer in the front row while John Madigan returns to partner Dave Foley in the second row.
Jordan Coghlan starts at openside joining Dave O’Callaghan and CJ Stander in the backrow. For the third successive week Foley introduces a different starting outhalf with 18-year-old Bill Johnston making his first senior start.
Further changes to the backline see New Zealander Francis Saili making his first start for the province. The final changge sees academy player Stephen Fitzgerald on the wing.
There are two sets of brothers named in the match-day squad, Rory and Niall Scannell from Cork, and Bill and David Johnston from Tipperary.
LEINSTER: Isa Nacewa; Adam Byrne, Colm O’Shea, Gordon D’Arcy, Mick McGrath; Cathal Marsh, Luke McGrath; Peter Dooley, Aaron Dundon, Michael Bent; Tom Denton, Mike McCarthy; Kevin McLaughlin (capt), Dan Leavy, Peadar Timmins. Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Jamie Hagan, Royce Burke-Flynn, Ross Molony, Dominic Ryan, Isaac Boss, Ross Byrne, Fergus McFadden, Tadhg Beirne, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan, Darragh Fanning, Noel Reid, Ben Te’o and Billy Dardis.
MUNSTER: Andrew Conway; Stephen Fitzgerald, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Gerhard van den Heever; Bill Johnston, Cathal Sheridan; John Ryan, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer; John Madigan, Dave Foley; Dave O’Callaghan, Jordan Coghlan, CJ Stander (capt). Replacements Niall Scannell, James Cronin, BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan, Robin Copeland, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Shane Monahan, Shane Buckley, Matt D’Arcy, David Johnston.
LONDON IRISH: Andrew Fenby, Alex Lewington, E Griffin, Dominic Waldouck, Topsy Ojo; Theo Brophy-Clews, Scott Steele; Tom Court, Gerard Ellis, Richard Palframan; Eoin Sheriff, Matt Symons (Captain), Luke Narraway, Conor Gilsenan;, David Sisi. Replacements: Tom Cruse, Tom Smallbone, Geoff Cross, George Skivington, David Paice, Ollie Curry, Brendan McKibbin, Ross Neal, Christian Lewis-Pratt, Johnny Harris, Jimmy Stevens, Conor Murphy, Johnny Williams.