Niall Denham has called upon Michael Fulham to be a late replacement for Guy Sarratt in the Leinster U-16 panel after he broke a finger in training earlier this week.
The Clontarf and Mount Temple player steps into the breach in place of one of the two players with prior interpro experience for this weekend’s competition in Mossley.John Guilfoyle will captain the squad with David Power, fresh from his strong outing with Mount Temple in their win last week against St Andrew’s, the team’s vice captain.
Their side are hoping to win back the title after a run of four wins in five years was ended last time around by Ulster in Garryduff.
And now they must breach Newtownabbey to prise back the title. It is a side that features seven of the St Andrew’s school team that won the Under-14 John Waring All-Ireland schools title a year ago including Ben Bradley, Ivan Cooke, Elliott Goode, Adam Larmour and Ben Walker in addition to Guilfoyle.
At U-18 level, Gareth Borland has named a side packed with senior team experience with all 18 of his final Leinster U-18 squad having played either in division one or two this season.
They are hopeful of recording their second interprovincial title as a group with 13 of this side having lined out two years ago at Under-16 level when the blues took the crown on goal difference ahead of Ulster.
Ulster U-18 coach Fergie Cosgrove, meanwhile, believes the current powerbase is in Leinster, pitching them as clear favourites for the title.
“Leinster have landed the under-18 title for the past two seasons while Dublin schools St Andrew’s and Wesley College have contested the last two All-Ireland schoolboy finals, so it seems the power base has shifted south,” reasons Cosgrove.
“But these things go in cycles. Leinster also have many of last season’s squad available again and numerous Wesley and St Andrew’s players in their ranks, so they’ll be hard to stop.”
Both Leinster sides start their campaigns with games against Ulster on Friday evening before meeting Munster on Saturday. They then play both on Sunday.
U-16/U-18 Interprovincials November 22–24
Friday: Ulster v Munster (1pm); Ulster v Leinster (5pm)
Saturday: Munster v Leinster (9.30am); Munster v Ulster (3pm)
Sunday: Leinster v Munster (9am); Leinster v Ulster (1pm)
Friday: Ulster v Munster (3pm); Ulster v Leinster (7pm)
Saturday: Munster v Leinster (11.30am); Munster v Ulster (5pm)
Sunday: Leinster v Munster (11am); Leinster v Ulster (3pm)