Ulster A will host Scarlets A in the second round of the Celtic Cup at Shaw’s Bridge in Belfast tonight (kick-off 7.00pm), and the staring XV will feature no less than eight Abbey Insurance Ulster Academy players – including Donegal’s Joe Dunleavy.

Dunleavy, who was capped by Ireland in the RubgyU20 World Cup, continues to impress.

The former Letterkenny and City of Derry player is now with Malone.

He plays a blindside flanker and has been retained as an Ulster Academy player this year.

Michael Lowry will captain the side from fly-half in what will be his first competitive game for Ulster A, with fellow Academy player Graham Curtis alongside him at scrum-half. Speedsters Aaron Sexton, Robert Baloucoune and Iwan Hughes make up a dynamic back three, with James Hume and Jack Owens once again paired in midfield.

Peter Cooper, Peter Cromie and Paul McGookin will pack down in the front row, with Matthew Dalton and Bradley Luney named in the engine room. Clive Ross will add experience to the back row, with Matthew Agnew and Joe Dunleavy selected as the other loose forwards.

Ulster A team to play Scarlets A, Celtic Cup Round 2, Friday 14th September at Shaw’s Bridge (7.00pm): (15-9): Iwan Hughes*, Robert Baloucoune*, Jack Owens, James Hume*, Aaron Sexton, Michael Lowry (C)*, Graham Curtis*; (1-8): Peter Cooper, Peter Cromie, Paul McGookin, Matthew Dalton*, Bradley Luney, Clive Ross, Matthew Agnew*, Joe Dunleavy*.

Replacements: Claytan Milligan, Tommy O’Hagan, Michael Cromie, Jack Regan*, Marcus Rea*, Aaron Hall*, Michael Stronge, Bruce Houston*.

* denotes Abbey Insurance Ulster Rugby Academy player.


Friday 7th September, 5.00pm - Ulster A 28-43 Leinster A at Malone RFC

Friday 14th September, 7.00pm - Ulster A v Scarlets A at Instonians/Cooke RFC

Saturday 22nd September, 2.30pm - Cardiff Blues A v Ulster A at Cardiff Arms Park

Saturday 29th September, 2.30pm - Ulster A v Dragons A at Ballymena RFC

Friday 5th October, 7.00pm - Ospreys A v Ulster A at Swansea RFC

October 12th-14th - Connacht A v Ulster A

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