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Centurion Reid And Fit-Again Daly Pair Up In Leinster Midfield

Centurion Reid And Fit-Again Daly Pair Up In Leinster Midfield

Head coach Leo Cullen has made wholesale changes to the Leinster team for Saturday’s GUINNESS PRO14 trip to the Sportsground (kick-off 3.05pm) to play Connacht, with centre Noel Reid joining the Blues’ 100-cap club.

It will be a special occasion for a number of players, in particular Noel Reid who makes his 100th appearance for Leinster having made his debut against Aironi in October 2011. The 27-year-old will start the game in the number 12 shirt. 

Outside Reid will be Carlow man Tom Daly who makes his seasonal debut. The former Ireland Sevens captain injured his ACL in August’s pre-season game against Perpignan and has been on a long road to recovery since then.

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Over the last few weeks, Daly has lined out with his club Lansdowne in the Ulster Bank League, with Leinster ‘A’ in the British & Irish Cup semi-final win over Jersey, and now finally with the senior team in the round 21 tie. In doing so, he becomes the 54th player to have worn a Leinster senior jersey this season.

Elsewhere, Jack McGrath captains the side with fellow Ireland internationals James Tracy and Andrew Porter completing the front row. Ross Molony and Mick Kearney team up in the second row, while Max Deegan starts in the number 6 jersey for the first time this season having played there a number of times as a replacement. Peadar Timmins, who is one of the province’s departing players, and Jack Conan complete the starting pack. 

In the back-line, Joey Carbery starts at full-back with Barry Daly, who is the PRO14’s top try scorer with 11 tries so far, and James Lowe on the wings. It is an all-UCD half-back pairing with Nick McCarthy partnering Ross Byrne. 

Jamison Gibson-Park will win his 50th cap if introduced off the bench in Galway, while former Connacht hooker Sean Cronin is standing by to make his 150th appearance for Leinster. Leinster, the Conference B leaders, have a home semi-final in their grasp as even if the Scarlets join them on 14 victories and 70 league points, Leo Cullen’s men have a far superior scoring difference (+264 points compared the Welsh side’s +138).

LEINSTER (v Connacht): Joey Carbery; Barry Daly, Tom Daly, Noel Reid, James Lowe; Ross Byrne, Nick McCarthy; Jack McGrath (capt), James Tracy, Andrew Porter, Ross Molony, Mick Kearney, Max Deegan, Peadar Timmins, Jack Conan.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Michael Bent, Devin Toner, Jordi Murphy, Jamison Gibson-Park, Jordan Larmour, Adam Byrne.