Leavy Starts As Leinster Team Named For PRO14 Clash With The Southern Kings
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Head coach Leo Cullen has named his Leinster team for this weekend’s clash with the Southern Kings in South Africa.
Scott Fardy will captain the side for the first time in a competitive fixture, starting in the second row with Ross Molony. Fardy has made 28 appearances and scored five tries since joining the province in 2017.
There are seven personnel changes to the starting XV that secured a bonus point win away to Benetton Rugby last weekend in Treviso. Dave Kearney returns from injury to make his first start since the home win over Dragons in September. Adam Byrne and Joe Tomane retain their places in the back three from last week.
Rory O’Loughlin once again starts at outside centre, while Conor O’Brien, who made a try-scoring appearance from the bench last week, starts in the 12 shirt. The final change to the backline sees Noel Reid come in to start at out-half, with Jamison Gibson-Park completing the half-back pairing.
There are two changes to the Leinster front row as Ed Byrne and Michael Bent come in, with James Tracy once again named as the starting hooker. In the second row, Fardy swaps from loosehead to tighthead side, with Molony coming in for James Ryan. Finally, in the back row, Josh Murphy will start at blindside flanker in place of Seán O’Brien as Dan Leavy and Max Deegan keep their places from last weekend.
On the bench, Vakh Abdaladze, Ciarán Frawley and Tom Daly are all in line to make their first appearances of the season for the senior side should they be called upon.
All eight replacements were part of the Leinster Rugby ‘A’ squad that defeated Scarlets ‘A’ in the Celtic Cup Final in Llanelli two weeks ago.
Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets)
15. Dave Kearney (125)
14. Adam Byrne (40)
13. Rory O’Loughlin (47)
12. Conor O’Brien (4)
11. Joe Tomane (8)
10. Noel Reid (104)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (57)
1. Ed Byrne (27)
2. James Tracy (74)
3. Michael Bent (109)
4. Ross Molony (68)
5. Scott Fardy (28) CAPTAIN
6. Josh Murphy (11)
7. Dan Leavy (57)
8. Max Deegan (26)
16. Bryan Byrne (29)
17. Peter Dooley (51)
18. Vakh Abdaladze (2)
19. Mick Kearney (39)
20. Caelan Doris (3)
21. Hugh O’Sullivan (2)
22. Ciarán Frawley (3)
23. Tom Daly (10)