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Leinster Announce Squad For Irish Clash

Leinster Announce Squad For Irish Clash

The Leinster squad to face London Irish in Friday’s opening round Pool 6 encounter at the RDS (kick-off 8pm) has been named.

South Africa international prop CJ van der Linde has been named in the Leinster squad for the first time this season after making four Heineken Cup appearances during last year’s successful campaign.

Try scorers from the 30-0 victory over Munster last weekend – Gordon D’Arcy, Shane Horgan and Brian O’Driscoll – are also included alongside Jonathan Sexton, who kicked 15 points in last Saturday’s interprovincial derby.

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O’Driscoll became only the third player ever and first from Leinster to score 25 Heineken Cup career tries last season.

Team captain Leo Cullen is named alongside fellow Ireland international forwards Jamie Heaslip, Bernard Jackman, Shane Jennings, Malcolm O’Kelly and Mike Ross.

Speaking to IrishRugby.ie about the pool opener and Leinster’s current strength in depth, Cullen said: “London Irish are in really good form, and then obviously we’ve got to go away to Brive. Two really tough games to kick us off in the Heineken Cup.

“It is certainly a different challenge, that’s the beauty of Europe. I don’t think we’ve been drawn against London Irish before, not that I can remember.

“It’s an exciting challenge and one we’ll meet head on as defending champions.

“We’re striving to prove ourselves all the time. We always want to improve our level of performance.

“There’s a good mix of guys that have been around and gone through some bad times, and obviously some younger guys who have been waiting in the wings to get their opportunity for quite a while.

“Everyone has to prove themselves all the time, we’ve tried to have as competitive a squad as possible.

“It’s good to be in a situation where you know if you don’t play well, you’re out of the team. There’s nothing that motivates players more than losing out on a starting place.”

Leinster coach Michael Cheika is expected to confirm his team and replacements on Thursday afternoon.

Supporters are encouraged to use public transport and tickets will not be on sale on the day.

LEINSTER Squad (v London Irish)Backs (12): Shaun Berne, Gordon D’Arcy, Girvan Dempsey, Luke Fitzgerald, Shane Horgan, Chris Keane, Rob Kearney, Simon Keogh, Fergus McFadden, Isa Nacewa, Brian O’Driscoll, Eoin Reddan, Jonathan Sexton.

Forwards (15): Leo Cullen, John Fogarty, Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Nathan Hines, Bernard Jackman, Shane Jennings, Stephen Keogh, Ronan McCormack, Kevin McLaughlin, Malcolm O’Kelly, Sean O’Brien, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, CJ van der Linde.