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Leinster To Field Strong Line-Up Against Bath

Leinster To Field Strong Line-Up Against Bath

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has named the team for Friday’s final Bank of Ireland pre-season friendly against Bath at Donnybrook (kick-off 7.30pm).

There is a welcome return for a number of Ireland internationals from injury while others, including the recently arrived Jamison Gibson Park, make their first start of Leinster’s pre-season schedule.

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Rob Kearney makes his first start of the campaign having recovered from the hamstring issue that forced him to miss Ireland’s summer tour to South Africa. The 69-times capped Ireland full-back will be joined by Garry Ringrose and Adam Byrne in the back-three. 

Noel Reid also makes his first start of the pre-season at number 12 with Rory O’Loughlin – a try scorer against both Ulster and Gloucester – beside him at outside centre. 

Fresh from winning a Super Rugby title with the Hurricanes, Gibson Park is given his first taste of Leinster action at scrum half with the New Zealand-born Joey Carbery outside him.

In the pack there are a number of changes from last weekend’s win over Gloucester with Cian Healy making a first start for Leinster since April having recovered from neck and knee injuries. Beside him, James Tracy and Michael Bent complete the front row. 

Ross Molony will captain the side from the second row with the returning Mike McCarthy alongside him. McCarthy last played in the RBS 6 Nations in February against France.

It is a youthful looking back row with Josh Murphy starting at blindside flanker, Dan Leavy at openside and Peadar Timmins at number 8. Once again Cullen will have a wide squad to choose his replacements from. 

Match tickets are still on sale here with kick-off against Bath at Donnybrook at 7.30pm on Friday evening. 

LEINSTER (v Bath): Rob Kearney; Garry Ringrose, Rory O’Loughlin, Noel Reid, Adam Byrne; Joey Carbery, Jamison Gibson Park; Cian Healy, James Tracy, Michael Bent, Ross Molony (capt), Mike McCarthy, Josh Murphy, Dan Leavy, Peadar Timmins.

Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Andrew Porter, Jeremy Loughman, Hayden Triggs, Dominic Ryan, Nick McCarthy, Cathal Marsh, Zane Kirchner, Sean McNulty, Peter Dooley, Ian Nagle, Josh van der Flier, Charlie Rock, Ross Byrne, Tom Daly, Barry Daly.