The Leinster squad to face the Newport Gwent Dragons in Saturday’s Magners League clash at the RDS has been named (kick-off 5.30pm).
Brian O’Driscoll, Shane Horgan, Girvan Dempsey, Malcolm O’Kelly and Bernard Jackman are all included in the panel for Saturday’s game, alongside the likes of Jonathan Sexton and Cian Healy who were also involved in Ireland training over the GUINNESS Series.
Wallaby international Rocky Elsom and South African CJ Van Der Linde feature in the squad, which will be reduced to the final 22 on Friday afternoon.
A number of players who were in good form for the Leinster ‘A’ team over recent weeks have also been included.
Over 15,500 tickets have now been sold for Saturday’s game at the RDS. Tickets are still available on the Leinster Rugby website and can be purchased in Spar (Donnybrook) and the Leinster Rugby Store.
The Ticketmaster box office will also be open on Anglesea Road and Simmonscourt Road from 3.30pm this Saturday.
There will be player appearances, face-painting and fire-jugglers will be present in and around the ground.
The stars of Leinster’s four winning underage Interprovincial teams (Schools Under-18, Schools Under-19, Youth Under-19 and the Under-20) will also be honoured.
Looking forward to the game, Leinster defence coach Kurt McQuilkin said: “We know that we let ourselves down last time out against Glasgow. It was one of those nights when nothing ticked over for us.
“It’s important that we try to implement a gameplan to counter the Dragons’ attacking threat.
“They’ve run Wasps and Bath close recently and they will have taken a lot of confidence from their win up in Ulster and there’s no doubt that they’re a strong team who have definitely improved from last year.
“The league is our bread and butter and is still there to be won. The Heineken Cup is a sprint, whereas the Magners League is a marathon, and we know that as defending champions we have to show a bit more pride.
“We’re as passionate as any other side when any of the boys put on that blue jersey. We can’t afford to trip up.”
LEINSTER Squad (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Backs (12) – Chris Whitaker, Chris Keane, Paul O’Donohoe, Jonathan Sexton, Fergus McFadden, Brian O’Driscoll, Eoin O’Malley, Shane Horgan, Felix Jones, Simon Keogh, Gary Brown, Girvan Dempsey.
Forwards (13) – Cian Healy, CJ Van Der Linde, Stan Wright, John Fogarty, Bernard Jackman, Brian Blaney, Devin Toner, Trevor Hogan, Malcolm O’Kelly, Cameron Jowitt, Sean O’Brien, Rocky Elsom, Stephen Keogh.