The Cara Cup opens today with the New England Free Jacks hosting the Connacht Eagles. The Cara Cup will have matches between the Free jacks and the four ‘A’ sides from the Irish provinces, as well as a match between Connacht A against Ulster A and Munster A versus Leinster A.
The Cara Cup begins March 16 at Union Sports Complex in Weymouth, MA and ends April 14 as the Freejacks play Leinster A at Harvard University.
All matches will be broadcast on NESNplus.
The Cara Cup follows on from the inaugural Celtic Cup earlier in the season when the four provinces partnered with A squads from the WRU and the SRU for a seven-game tournament.
Connacht Eagles head coach Mossy Lawler says the trip will be a great opportunity for players on and off the pitch.
“We’re really looking forward to our trip to the States for the Cara Cup. We’ve got a lot of guys with experience and some with inexperience, but ultimately everyone is traveling for a different reason so that’s where we’re going to get our hunger.”
“There were a lot of guys who played in the Celtic Cup who have gone on to win their first cap, so the Eagles set up in the Academy is hugely important in terms of up-skilling those players to be able to play at the next level for the province.”
Squads with Player Article Links
New England Free Jacks: 1 Anthony Purpura 2 Steve Hinshaw 3 Dolph Botha 4 Jackson Thiebes 5 Conor Kindregan 6 Owen Hundt 7 Jon Kokinda 8 Pago Haini 9 Erik Thompson 10 Tadhg Leader (C) 11 Steve Dazzo 12 Peter Lupton13 Ahmad Harajily 14 Christian Adams 15 Danny Collins 16 Diego Maquieira 17 David McKenna 18 Kyle Ciquera19 Aaron Cummings 20 Devin Ibanez 21 Oliver Engelhart 22 Owen Collins 23 Bryan Ptomey
Connacht Eagles: 1 Conan O’Donnell 2 Jonny Murphy 3 Conor Kenny 4 Joe Maksymiw (C) 5 Cillian Gallagher 6 Cian Huxford 7 Sean Masterson 8 Neal Moylett 9 Stephen Kerins 10 Luke Carty 11 Mark Balsaki 12 Kieran Joyce 13 Sean O’Brien 14 Hugh Lane 15 Colm de Buitlear 16 Declan Adamson 17 Jordan Duggan 18 Peter Claffey 19 James Connolly 20 Robin Copeland 21 James Mitchell 22 Conor Dean 23 Corey Reid
Non-playing reserves Lian Winnett, Conor Hayes, Oran McNulty
CARA CUP ROUND ROBIN FIXTURES (ALL TIMES EST)
Saturday, March 16
1500: Free Jacks v Connacht Eagles @ Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth MA
Wednesday, March 20
1900: Connacht Eagles v Ulster A @ Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth MA
Sunday, March 24
1830: Free Jacks v Ulster A @ Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth MA
Saturday, April 6
1600: Free Jacks v Munster A @ Irish Cultural Centre, Canton MA
Wednesday, April 10
1900: Munster A v Leinster A @ Union Point Sports Complex, Weymouth MA
Sunday, April 14
1700: Free Jacks v Leinster A @ Harvard Mignone Field, Boston MA