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McLaughlin To Lead Leinster In Newport

McLaughlin To Lead Leinster In Newport

The Leinster team to face the Newport Gwent Dragons in Saturday night’s RaboDirect PRO12 clash at Rodney Parade (kick-off 7.30pm, live match updates on www.leinsterrugby.ie) has been named.

With the top seed berth secured ahead of next weekend’s RaboDirect PRO12 play-off at the RDS, there is a fresh look to the Leinster squad with opportunity knocking for a number of players who have impressed over the course of the season.

Kevin McLaughlin leads the team and he makes his 72nd provincial appearance after coming on as a replacement in last weekend’s Heineken Cup semi-final victory away to Clermont Auvergne.

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Flanker McLaughlin is joined in the back row by Dominic Ryan and Leo Auva’a, who penned a two-year deal with the province earlier this week.

Jack McGrath starts in the front row alongside Ireland hooker Sean Cronin and Nathan White, with Devin Toner named in the second row alongside Damian Browne who makes his 21st appearance of the campaign.

Eoin Reddan links up at half-back with Ian Madigan and Noel Reid will form a youthful centre partnership with Brendan Macken in a back-line which features six recent Leinster Academy graduates.

Should Isa Nacewa feature off the bench, which mixes the youth of Luke McGrath and Jordi Murphy with the experience of Heinke van der Merwe, the match will mark his 100th outing in Leinster colours.

LEINSTER (v Newport Gwent Dragons): David Kearney; Andrew Conway, Brendan Macken, Noel Reid, Fionn Carr; Ian Madigan, Eoin Reddan; Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin, Nathan White, Devin Toner, Damian Browne, Kevin McLaughlin (capt), Dominic Ryan, Leo Auva’a.

Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Heinke van der Merwe, Jamie Hagan, Mark Flanagan, Jordi Murphy, Luke McGrath, Isa Nacewa, Darren Hudson.