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Leinster Select Squad For Connacht Clash

Leinster Select Squad For Connacht Clash

Leinster coach Michael Cheika has announced a 26-man squad for Friday’s Magners League derby clash with Connacht at the RDS (kick-off 7.30pm). Already 15,000 tickets have been sold for the Interprovincial encounter.

Cheika has named the same extended squad for Friday’s game as he did for last week’s trip to Ulster, with Argentinian star Felipe Contepomi again missing out.

Leinster will be looking to build on the 16-16 draw with Ulster at Ravenhill and can again call on the likes of Brian O’Driscoll, Shane Horgan, Gordon D’Arcy, Girvan Dempsey and Malcolm O’Kelly.

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Former Springbok Ollie Le Roux, who impressed on his debut in Belfast, is also included in the squad alongside former Connacht front rowers Bernard Jackman and Stephen Knoop.

Already close to 15,000 tickets have been sold for Friday’s game, so supporters are urged to purchase tickets early to avoid disappointment.

Tickets are available from Ticketmaster outlets, the Leinster Rugby Store (Donnybrook), Spar (Donnybrook) and online from www.LeinsterRugby.ie.

Specially-priced Family Stand Tickets (2 adults & 2 school children) are also available online for 50 euro.

Assessing Friday’s opponents, Leinster coach Michael Cheika said: “One thing I’ve seen is that Connacht have become serious competitors week in week out. They’re a very well coached team. They play together as a team. I don’t think the old ‘chip on the shoulder’ is there much anymore because they play at a high level against the same opponents as us.

“They’ve bought smartly with Johnny O’Connor and Mel Deane and Tim Donnelly who I know from Australia – he is good at orchestrating the game well. He has also played Super 14.

“They’ve changed Conor McPhillips into a half-back which is smart and their second rows are very effective. Everyone knows that they’re a very competitive outfit.”

LEINSTER Squad (v Connacht): Forwards (14) – Stan Wright, Bernard Jackman, Brian Blaney, Ollie Le Roux, Juan Francisco Gomez, Stephen Knoop, Leo Cullen, Malcolm O’Kelly, Devin Toner, Stephen Keogh, Keith Gleeson, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip, Kevin McLaughlin.

Backs (12) – Chris Whitaker, Cillian Willis, Jonathan Sexton, Christian Warner, Michael Berne, Gordon D’Arcy, Brian O’Driscoll (capt), Luke Fitzgerald, Rob Kearney, Gary Brown, Shane Horgan, Girvan Dempsey.