Connacht kick off their junior interprovincial campaign on Saturday with high expectations when they face Ulster in Virginia at 2.30pm.
Last year Connacht were denied the interprovincial crown when, having overcome both Munster and Ulster, they lost to Leinster in the last two minutes.
However coach Seamus King of Castlebar and assistant Eddie Walshe of Westport have been able to keep the core of last year’s squad, including last year’s captain Kevin Higgins of Monivea.
In all seven clubs from dvision 1A of the Connacht Junior League are represented, although a number of players were not considered for selection due to injuries and work commitments.
Although training has been hampered due to weather and a backlog of fixtures, the squad completed its preparations last weekend with a challenge match against Connemara.
Team manger Mike Turley, from OLBC, believes the squad is representative of the best available players in junior rugby and has the capability of bettering last year’s excellent performance.
After Saturday’s opening round, Connacht then host Leinster on Saturday May 1 in Creggs at 2.30pm, with the final game against Munster on Saturday May 8 at 2.30pm in Ballincollig.
Connacht squad: Alan Bane (Corrib ), Kevin Corcoran (Westport ), Eoin Cosgrove (Tuam ), Kevin Cox (Castlebar ), John Culkin (Monivea ), Jordan Farrington (Sigo ), David Gerrity (Sligo ), Conor Hastings (Westport ), Dara Higgins (Corrib ), Kevin Higgins (Monivea ), Robbie Kavanagh (Tuam ), Billy Leahy (Sligo ), Martin Lee (Corrib ), Thomas Lee (Corrib ), Tom McAuliffe (Castlebar ), Adrian McHale (Sligo ), Aidan McNulty (Ballina ), Enda Murphy (Castlebar ), Mickey Murphy (Ballina ), Ger O'Connor (Monivea ), Willie Parker (Monivea ), Paddy Pearson (Sligo ), Dave Prior (Monivea ), Eoin Rooney (Monivea ), Tom Toolan (Ballina ), MikeWard (Tuam ).