Leinster Team Named For Inter-Pro Clash With Ulster At Kingspan

PRO14.

Head coach Leo Cullen has named his Leinster team for Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 clash with Ulster at Kingspan in Belfast.

Ross Byrne will captain the province for the first time, starting in a half-back partnership with Nick McCarthy. Byrne made his Leinster debut back in September 2015, appearing off the bench against Edinburgh. He followed this up with his first start the following month against Scarlets.

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Elsewhere in the back line, the experienced Dave Kearney and Fergus McFadden are selected on the wings with Jimmy O’Brien at fullback completing the back three. Noel Reid and Joe Tomane are Leinster’s starting centre partnership for Saturday’s game in Belfast. Jack McGrath, Bryan Byrne and Michael Bent have been selected in the Leinster front row.

Oisín Dowling will make his first senior start alongside Josh Murphy in the second row. Will Connors continues his return from an ACL injury to start in the back row along with Max Deegan and Caelan Doris, who both came off the bench in last Sunday’s Heineken Champions Cup semi-final victory over Toulouse.

Ryan Baird, who made two appearances for Ireland U20 in their recent Six Nations Grand Slam-winning campaign, could make his senior debut from the bench. He will become the 57th player used by Cullen this season should he be called upon.

Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):

15. Jimmy O’Brien (6)
14. Fergus McFadden (177)
13. Joe Tomane (12)
12. Noel Reid (120)
11. Dave Kearney (134)
10. Ross Byrne (68) CAPTAIN
9. Nick McCarthy (33)
1. Jack McGrath (143)
2. Bryan Byrne (39)
3. Michael Bent (122)
4. Josh Murphy (20)
5. Oisín Dowling (3)
6. Max Deegan (42)
7. Will Connors (4)
8. Caelan Doris (15)

16. Rónan Kelleher (1)
17. Peter Dooley (60)
18. Vakh Abdaladze (6)
19. Ryan Baird (0)
20. Scott Penny (5)
21. Paddy Patterson (2)
22. Ciarán Frawley (13)
23. Barry Daly (35)