The Leinster squad to face Newport in Friday’s British & Irish Cup Pool A clash at Donnybrook (kick-off 6pm) has been named.
Leinster, who currently top Pool A after winning their first three games in the competition, face an in-form Newport side who lie in fourth place in the Welsh Principality Premiership and just a point behind in the group.
Trevor Hogan, Stephen Keogh, Mike Ross and Devin Toner have been included in the province’s pack after featuring in Leinster’s Magners League victory over the Scarlets last weekend.
The quartet are joined by the likes of Paul Ryan and Eoin Sheriff who impressed in the recent 22-10 victory over the Exeter Chiefs, while Fergus McFadden, Eoin O’Malley and Paul O’Donohoe, a try-scorer in the win at Sandy Park, could feature in the back-line.
Speaking ahead of Friday’s visit of Newport, Leinster’s British & Irish Cup backs coach Richie Murphy said that the players are prepared for a physical encounter against a strong Welsh side.
“The win over Exeter in the last round was pleasing because we were more clinical in our attack play than in previous games,” he said.
“The younger players are learning to play under the pressures of a competitive environment and are adapting to facing different teams, which can only be of long-term benefit.
“Training has gone well this week and we’re expecting an altogether different test against a Newport side that plays together regularly and they won’t be afraid to run from anywhere.
“The beauty about this competition is that we will face sides from different traditions with different styles about how they want to play the game.
“So, in a sense, every game is an education and the contests so far across the board in the British & Irish Cup have been exciting.
“This should make for another thrilling game, but we will need to be resolute in defence.
“In the opening two rounds we enjoyed good victories over Plymouth Albion and the Cornish Pirates, we were a little bit cagey because we were clearly finding our feet.
“But with a few wins under our belts now, we’re happy with the shape the squad is in.”
*There will be free entry to Friday’s game for Leinster Season Ticket Holders upon presentation of this year’s membership card. Meanwhile, the Six Nations clash between Wales v France will be shown on the big screens in Old Wesley after the British & Irish Cup tie.
LEINSTER Squad (v Newport) – Backs (11): Chris Keane, Michael Keating, Simon Keogh, Ian Madigan, Fergus McFadden, Shane Monahan, David Moore, Niall Morris, Paul O’Donohoe, Eoin O’Malley, Kyle Tonetti.
Forwards (12): Jason Harris-Wright, Trevor Hogan, Stephen Keogh, Ronan McCormack, Jack McGrath, Jordi Murphy, Mike Ross, Ciaran Ruddock, Paul Ryan, Eoin Sheriff, Richardt Strauss, Devin Toner.