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Leinster Announce Team For Dragons Trip

Leinster Announce Team For Dragons Trip

The Leinster team to face the Newport Gwent Dragons in Sunday afternoon’s Magners League clash at Rodney Parade (kick-off 2.30pm) has been named.

Shane Horgan returns to the starting line-up after a two month lay-off with a knee injury. He will make his 18th appearance of the season.

The fit-again Ireland winger joins Luke Fitzgerald and Isa Nacewa in the province’s back-three for Sunday’s game.

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Eoin O’Malley partners Fergus McFadden at centre, with Isaac Boss linking up at half-back with Jonathan Sexton, one of Ireland’s heroes against England.

Leo Cullen leads the team and starts from the second row alongside Devin Toner, and ex-Gonzaga College duo Kevin McLaughlin and Dominic Ryan join Rhys Ruddock in the back row.

Internationals Jamie Heaslip, Nathan Hines and Eoin Reddan have been selected on a strong replacements bench which features a mix of youth and experience.

Speaking ahead of the trip to Newport, Leinster skills and kicking coach Richie Murphy said that the players are expecting a tough battle with the Welsh regional side.

“A couple of the younger players have done well when they’ve played for the seniors. If you were to ask any of them I think they’d say that they have enjoyed their chances to play,” he said.

“The senior guys that are there are looking after them and helping them through the games. And I think that the young lads are progressing well.

“Rodney Parade is a very difficult place to play. Over the last two years we have shipped reasonably big defeats, so I think this week it will be about us getting ourselves right, being mentally ready for the game and with the league position that we’re in at the moment, it’s a ‘must win’ game for us.”

LEINSTER (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Isa Nacewa; Shane Horgan, Eoin O’Malley, Fergus McFadden, Luke Fitzgerald; Jonathan Sexton, Isaac Boss; Heinke van der Merwe, Richardt Strauss, Stan Wright, Leo Cullen (capt), Devin Toner, Kevin McLaughlin, Dominic Ryan, Rhys Ruddock.

Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Jack McGrath, Simon Shawe, Nathan Hines, Jamie Heaslip, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, David Kearney.