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Cheika Selects Unchanged Leinster Squad

Cheika Selects Unchanged Leinster Squad

Leinster coach Michael Cheika has kept faith with the 26-man squad that helped the province to a famous win in Cardiff last week for this Friday’s Magners League clash with the Llanelli Scarlets at the RDS (kick-off 7.10pm).

Cheika has two injury concerns for the visit of the Scarlets – stand-in captain Leo Cullen and centre Fergus McFadden, who debuted against Cardiff last week, have both picked up knocks and will be assessed “over the next few days” to determine if they will be available for Leinster’s third game of the league campaign.

Cheika confirmed that he will not be rushing Ireland’s World Cup players back into action, which will be music to the ears of the likes of young winger Luke Fitzgerald, who has started the league run in fine form with three tries in two games.

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“At the end of the day, we didn’t (originally) expect any of the Ireland players to get back until after the (World Cup) final. I want to give them time off to get themselves back on track. It’s tough for them,’ said the Leinster supremo.

“It’s going to be a tough couple of weeks too going forward – they’re going to take a fair bit of criticism I imagine. But we’ll hopefully help them deal with that. They’re good guys, they’ll get over it.”

The Australian also had a word of praise for the 20-year-old Fitzgerald who has begun the season at break-neck speed. “Luke’s starting to get some consistent game-time this season and it’s all a great learning experience for him. He got two tries last week against the Blues and if he can keep hitting that strike rate I’ll be very happy with him.”

Tickets for Friday’s game are currently on sale from the Leinster Rugby Store (Donnybrook), Spar (Donnybrook) and from www.LeinsterRugby.ie.

LEINSTER Squad: Forwards – Stan Wright, Juan Francisco Gomez, Cian Healy, Stephen Knoop, Brian Blaney, Bernard Jackman, Leo Cullen, Devin Toner, Trevor Hogan, Cameron Jowitt, Kevin McLaughlin, Stephen Keogh, Jamie Heaslip, Keith Gleeson, Shane Jennings.

Backs – Chris Whitaker, Chris Keane, Cillian Willis, Jonathan Sexton, Christian Warner, Fergus McFadden, Fionn Carr, Rob Kearney, Luke Fitzgerald, Ross McCarron, Gary Brown.