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Toner To Captain Leinster For The First Time

Toner To Captain Leinster For The First Time

The Leinster team to face Zebre in the GUINNESS PRO14 at the RDS on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 2pm) has been finalised by head coach Leo Cullen.

There are a number of changes and a potential debut off the bench but, most significantly, Leo Cullen has appointed Devin Toner as captain for the round 19 game. It is the first time that the Meath native will lead his home province, on the occasion of his 213th cap.

Elsewhere, Barry Daly starts at full-back with Adam Byrne on the right wing and James Lowe on the left. Academy back Conor O’Brien teams up with Rory O’Loughlin in the centre. It is the second start of a breakthrough season for Mullingar man O’Brien and his first start at the RDS.

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Jamison Gibson-Park is joined by Ross Byrne at half-back, while Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong continue as the starting props with James Tracy getting the nod at hooker. Toner captains the side from second row alongside Mick Kearney.

Josh Murphy, who started at number 8 for the Leinster ‘A’ side last weekend, will line out at blindside flanker against the Italians, with the in-form Dan Leavy at openside and the 21-year-old Max Deegan, who made his European debut last Sunday, completing the back row.

Gavin Mullin is in line to make his senior debut for the province should he be introduced off the bench. The 20-year-old Academy back is a son of Leinster, Ireland and British & Irish Lions centre Brendan Mullin, who won 56 caps for Ireland.

LEINSTER (v Zebre): Barry Daly; Adam Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin, Conor O’Brien, James Lowe; Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Cian Healy, James Tracy, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner (capt), Mick Kearney, Josh Murphy, Dan Leavy, Max Deegan.

Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Peter Dooley, Vakh Abdaladze, Ross Molony, Peadar Timmins, Nick McCarthy, Ciaran Frawley, Gavin Mullin.