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Three Ireland Sevens Internationals To Start For Leinster

Three Ireland Sevens Internationals To Start For Leinster

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has announced the team to face Zebre in round 8 of the GUINNESS PRO12 at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on Saturday (kick-off 5.05pm local time/4.05pm Irish time).

Leo Cullen has made seven changes to the side that beat Connacht last weekend at a sold-out RDS, with Lansdowne clubman and Ireland Sevens captain Tom Daly making his Leinster debut and 20-year-old loosehead prop Andrew Porter making his first start in the number 1 jersey. 

Isa Nacewa captains the province from full-back with try scorers from last Saturday and two of Daly’s Sevens international colleagues, Adam Byrne and Barry Daly, continuing on the right and left wing respectively. 

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Noel Reid is again selected at inside centre for his seventh start of the season, combining with 23-year-old Carlow native and former Knockbeg College student Tom Daly who dons a Leinster senior jersey for the first time.

Jamison Gibson Park continues at scrum half with Leinster Academy out-half Ross Byrne partnering him from the start in Parma having come off the bench against Connacht.

Porter will be joined in the front row by experienced international duo Richardt Strauss and Michael Bent. Hooker Strauss has recovered from knee surgery to make his first senior appearance of the season having played for Leinster ‘A’ and Old Wesley over the last two weekends. 

Mike McCarthy comes into the second row and will be joined by former Maori All Black Hayden Triggs, who is set for his second appearance of the season. The back row is unchanged with Dan Leavy, the man-of-the-match against Connacht, chosen at blindside flanker, Sean O’Brien at openside and Jack Conan packing down at number 8.

The Leinster management have gone with six forwards and two backs on his bench. Rhys Ruddock makes a welcome return from a calf injury and UCD back Hugo Keenan is in line to make his Leinster debut. The 20-year-old has played for Leinster ‘A’ in the first two rounds of the British & Irish Cup on the right wing, and Saturday represents his first senior matchday involvement.

LEINSTER (v Zebre): Isa Nacewa (capt); Adam Byrne, Tom Daly, Noel Reid, Barry Daly; Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson Park; Andrew Porter, Richardt Strauss, Michael Bent, Mike McCarthy, Hayden Triggs, Dan Leavy, Sean O’Brien, Jack Conan.

Replacements: James Tracy, Peter Dooley, Mike Ross, Mick Kearney, Rhys Ruddock, Nick McCarthy, Dominic Ryan, Hugo Keenan.