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Flanker Ryan To Lead Leinster Against Ulster

Flanker Ryan To Lead Leinster Against Ulster

Newly-appointed head coach Leo Cullen has named his first Leinster team which will take on Ulster in tonight’s pre-season friendly at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.30pm).

The Leinster starting line-up is a mixture of youth and experience with three Academy players included. Ireland internationals Noel Reid, Jamie Hagan and Dominic Ryan are also in from the start.

20-year-old UCD full-back Billy Dardis dons the number 15 jersey with fellow Academy and UCD player Adam Byrne selected on the left wing. The province’s joint top try-scorer last season, Darragh Fanning, completes the back-three.

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It is a familiar centre partnership with Reid at inside centre and Ben Te’o wearing the number 13 shirt. Luke McGrath, who was top of the try-scoring charts last year with Fanning on six tries, starts at half-back alongside St. Mary’s College clubman Cathal Marsh.

The third Academy player is Peter Dooley, who made his Leinster debut last season against Edinburgh in the GUINNESS PRO12. Dooley fills the loosehead prop berth with Hagan at tighthead and James Tracy at hooker.

Tadhg Beirne, in his first year out of the Academy, starts in the second row beside Tom Denton. Dominic Ryan captains the side from blindside flanker with Josh van der Flier, who played six times for Leinster last season while still in the Academy, and Clontarf’s Tony Ryan completing the back row.

Leo Cullen will bring an extended squad of 33 players to Kingspan Stadium and replacements will be confirmed before the game. The extended squad includes summer signings Isa Nacewa and Royce Burke Flynn, while other members of the Leinster Academy like Garry Ringrose and Nick McCarthy are also included.

Tickets for the Ulster v Leinster game are still available to buy online via ulsterrugby.com/tickets and will also be available to purchase on the gate.

The match will not be shown live, however highlights will be shown on BBC One Northern Ireland’s ‘Final Score’ on Saturday (5pm) and will be available on the BBC Sport NI website.

LEINSTER (v Ulster): Billy Dardis; Darragh Fanning, Ben Te’o, Noel Reid, Adam Byrne; Cathal Marsh, Luke McGrath; Peter Dooley, James Tracy, Jamie Hagan, Tadhg Beirne, Tom Denton, Dominic Ryan (capt), Josh van der Flier, Tony Ryan.

Replacements: to be confirmed.