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Ruddock To Captain Leinster In Pre-Season Opener

Ruddock To Captain Leinster In Pre-Season Opener

The Leinster team to face the Melbourne Rebels in Friday’s Bank of Ireland Series pre-season clash at Donnybrook (kick-off 7pm) has been named.

New Zealander Mat Berquist will make his first appearance for Leinster since his summer arrival from the Canterbury Crusaders.

He partners recent Academy graduate John Cooney at half-back in a back-line which also includes Kildare man Fionn Carr who starts on the wing.

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The Ireland-capped Rhys Ruddock captains the side and joins Dominic Ryan and Leo Auva’a in the back row.

Meanwhile, following his summer return to his home province, Balbriggan native and former Leinster Youths prop Jamie Hagan lines up alongside Richardt Strauss and Heinke van der Merwe in the front row.

It will be a family affair in the province’s second row as first cousins Mark Flanagan and Devin Toner start together for the first time.

Tickets will be available at the gate from €;10 (adult) and €;5 (child), while stand tickets cost €;20.

Tickets are also available to purchase online here, from the Leinster Rugby Store (Donnybrook), Spar (Donnybrook) and from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.

LEINSTER (v Melbourne Rebels): Ian Madigan; Darren Hudson, Brendan Macken, Eamonn Sheridan, Fionn Carr; Mat Berquist, John Cooney; Heinke van der Merwe, Richardt Strauss, Jamie Hagan, Mark Flanagan, Devin Toner, Rhys Ruddock (capt), Dominic Ryan, Leo Auva’a.

Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Jack McGrath, Jack O’Connell, Steven Sykes, David Gannon, Cillian Willis, Colm O’Shea, Andrew Conway, Jason Harris-Wright, Ciaran Ruddock, Ben Marshall, Andrew Boyle.