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Doak ready to take Ravens to the next step

By Niall Crozier

Ulster Ravens coach Neil Doak has named his team and replacements for the inter-pro match against Connacht A at Parsonstown this afternoon (3.00).

Hooker Nigel Brady, who will captain the side, said: “The Ravens have come a long way this season, and every game we get to play together is another important stepping stone.

“Connacht will be a great test for us with the younger players getting an opportunity to show Brian (McLaughlin), Neil (Doak) and Jeremy (Davidson) what they can do, and stick their hands up and stake a claim for a jersey.

“It is also important to build on the momentum from last Friday night. That was a very positive performance, and you could really see the younger boys growing in confidence.”

A number of Phoenix Ulster Rugby Academy and Ulster Under 20 players are included.

Luke Marshall will play at out half alongside Paul Marshall, while Mark McCrea and Jonny Shiells are the midfield partners.

Dungannon pair Craig Gilroy and Chris Cochrane are the wingers, with Belfast Harlequins’ Mark Roberts completing the back three.

Up front, Brady is propped by Paul Karayannis and Allan Whitten, with Andrew Linton packing down with Neil McComb in the engine room.

Linton's Queen’s club mate Mark Robinson, will start at openside, with Scott La Valla at blindside, and T.J. Anderson at number 8.

The bench is a mixture of youth and experience with Andi Kyriacou, Cillian Willis and Bryan Young joining club players David Mcllwaine and Michael Pyper (Queen’s), Paddy Marks (Instonians), Michael Allen (Belfast Harlequins) and Stephen Mulholland (Ballymena).

Ulster Ravens: Mark Roberts; Chris Cochrane, Mark McCrea, Jonny Shiells, Craig Gilroy; Luke Marshall, Paul Marshall; Paul Karayannis, Nigel Brady (captain), Alan Whitten; Neil McComb, Andrew Linton; Scott La Valla, Mark Robinson, T.J. Anderson.

Replacements: Andi Kyriacou, Bryan Young, Stephen Mulholland, Paddy Marks, Cillian Willis, Michael Pyper, Michael Allen, David McIIwaine.

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