Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Millar is expecting a tough encounter

Flanker Neil McMillan: Ulster A's captain

Ulster 'A' clash with their Leinster counterparts at Dungannon's Stevenson Park tonight.

The 'A' side cruised to victory in their last outing against Connacht scoring five tries in the process but will find the Donnybrook side a stiffer test.

Team manager David Millar is hoping for a good showing from the team although their selection has been hampered.

"We have a very strong team although there are a few boys missing due to injury and Irish U-20 training camp in Dublin.

There is still a strong mix of senior, development and academy players."

Millar believes the 'A' concept is beneficial even if the side is just thrown together without much preparation.

"It's always difficult as the players don't play together and only meet for a one-off game but it shouldn't take them too long to get going as when you pull on the Ulster shirt, you want to win.

The game is a chance to give some of the guys that have been benching for Ulster a chance to play at that level and it's beneficial from the senior coach's point of view."

Millar is expecting a tough challenge but doesn't think there will be a great deal in it at the final whistle.

"They will be strong, their 'A' structure has been in place longer and they have played more games.

Anytime we have played them at 'A' level, the games have been extremely close.

Ulster are captained by flanker Neil McMillan who scored the third try against London Irish in the Heineken Cup against London Irish last Friday.

He is joined in the back row by Ballymena No 8 Chris Henry and Ballynahinch's Willie Faloon who bagged four tries for his club in the All-Ireland last Saturday.

Tim Barker and Ryan Caldwell form an all-Dungannon second row while Paul Shields starts at hooker with Niall Conlon and Declan Fitzpatrick propping.

Behind the scrum Kieran Campbell and Adam Larkin provide experience at half-back.

Scott Young and Stuart Megaw are paired in the centre with Paul McKenzie, Andy Maxwell and Mark Kettyle forming the back three.

Ulster's final game in Pool Five of the Heineken Cup against Toulouse at Stade Ernest Wallon will take place on Sunday 21st January with a 1pm (local time) kick off.

Ulster could still be in contention if they can pick up five points and stop Llanelli getting a bonus point in their next game in the competition at Ravenhill.

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