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Leinster Hand Debuts To Tonetti And McKinley

Leinster Hand Debuts To Tonetti And McKinley

The Leinster team to face the Newport Gwent Dragons in Saturday’s Magners League clash at Rodney Parade (kick-off 5.30pm) has been named.

Recovered from a bout of the mumps, Rob Kearney returns to the Leinster starting line-up and takes his place in a back-line that features Girvan Dempsey at full-back and Simon Keogh on the right wing.

There are two debutants in centre Kyle Tonetti and out-half Ian McKinley who are the latest players to be promoted from the Leinster Academy.

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Tonetti partners Fergus McFadden, who will be making his seventh appearance of the season.

Head coach Michael Cheika has taken the decision to rest a number of frontline players ahead of Saturday week’s Heineken Cup final against Leicester Tigers.

In the second row Devin Toner partners Trevor Hogan, while Kevin McLaughlin forms a strong back row unit alongside Sean O’Brien and Stephen Keogh who will captain the side.

Four further Academy players could be set to make their debuts from the replacements bench, including Kearney’s younger brother David.

The young quartet will be on bench duty alongside the most recent graduate Paul O’Donohoe, who impressed for Clontarf in last weekend’s AIB League Division One final against Shannon.

LEINSTER (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Girvan Dempsey; Simon Keogh, Fergus McFadden, Kyle Tonetti, Rob Kearney; Ian McKinley, Chris Keane; Ronan McCormack, John Fogarty, Stephen Knoop, Trevor Hogan, Devin Toner, Kevin McLaughlin, Sean O’Brien, Stephen Keogh (capt).

Replacements: Brian Blaney, Jamie Hagan, Cameron Jowitt, Paul Ryan, Paul O’Donohoe, Ian Madigan, David Kearney.