The Leinster team to face Newport in Friday’s British & Irish Cup Pool A clash at Donnybrook (kick-off 6pm) has been named.
Stephen Keogh leads an experienced Leinster side which includes Ireland international forwards Trevor Hogan and Mike Ross as well as Ireland ‘A’ internationals Chris Keane, Simon Keogh, Ronan McCormack, Fergus McFadden and Devin Toner.
McFadden forms an exciting centre partnership with Eoin O’Malley, while Michael Keating comes onto the right wing for his third appearance in the British & Irish Cup.
Meanwhile, Stan Wright and Paul O’Donohoe have been included on a strong replacements bench.
Leinster’s British & Irish Cup backs coach Richie Murphy said: “The senior players are giving great guidance to the Academy players who in turn are being given a greater insight into the demands of professional rugby.
“The guys are getting used to the pace of the game at this level and it is a welcome bridge between the AIB League and Magners League competitions.
“If you look at the form of the likes of Paul O’Donohoe and Eoin O’Malley in the Exeter win, they followed that up with selection for the victory over the Scarlets last weekend.
“So the carrot is there for the up-and-coming players to play well and push for selection for the senior squad.
“With Andrew Conway also making his debut (in that game), that provides the younger players with added motivation to impress.”
Entry to Friday’s game is free for Leinster Season Ticket holders and children and only €;10 for adults on Friday.
A limited number of discounted tickets are available for supporters to purchase in advance for only €;5 from Spar Donnybrook.
There will be a voucher for the first 250 people in the gate and this can be redeemed against one of a selection of items in the Old Wesley Bar, including Guinness, tea or coffee (first come, first served).
LEINSTER (v Newport): Niall Morris, Michael Keating, Eoin O’Malley, Fergus McFadden, Simon Keogh; Ian Madigan, Chris Keane; Ronan McCormack, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross, Trevor Hogan, Devin Toner, Eoin Sheriff, Paul Ryan, Stephen Keogh (capt).
Replacements: Jason Harris-Wright, Stan Wright, Ciaran Ruddock, Jordi Murphy, Paul O’Donohoe, Kyle Tonetti, Shane Monahan.