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McKinney is backed to put the boot into Nenagh

Queen’s will hope to cap a remarkable season with victory in the All Ireland League Division Three play-off final against Nenagh at Anglesea Road in Dublin.

The students not only gained promotion to Division Two, but won the Ulster Senior Cup with a 34-0 victory over Malone at Ravenhill last weekend.

Queen’s took Division Three by storm scoring 580 points and finishing 20 points clear of third placed Nenagh, but the County Tipperary side pushed the students all the way in the league encounter at the Dub losing 18-13.

“We’ll be very confident going down, but it’s a noon start. We’ll go out and push hard to win it because it’s another Cup final,” said Queen’s Director of Rugby Robbie Moore.

“Nenagh will be very difficult and they give us our toughest match of the year, it’s never easy and even though we won the Senior Cup it won’t be a walkover.

“They have missed out on promotion and they will want to show what they can do.”

Queen’s will be full of confidence after lifting the senior cup for the first time in 29 years and Moore is hoping they can reproduce that performance in Dublin.

“Our set pieces were excellent against Malone and that was one of our big worries, especially in the scrums,” said Moore.

“After the second one we thought that we were ok and our lineout was excellent as well.

“I thought James McKinney’s kicking was top class, that put us in great positions and we finished it off. In the last 15 minutes Malone tired and we capitalised on it.”

After a long hard season Queen’s may juggle their resources for the final. Utility back James Reekie and hooker Peter McKeown come into the squad as it increases from 20 last week to 22 for the All Ireland competition.

Winger Chris Quinn is the only injury doubt and faces a fitness test.

The front five is likely to stay the same although the management may use the game to look at different combinations in the back row.

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It’s the same in midfield with four players fighting it out for the two starting berths.

Ian Porter and James McKinney should form the half back partnership with David McIlwane at full back.

Nenagh booked their place in the decider with a surprise win over promoted Midleton in the semi-final and will hope to win the game with their pack.


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