The Leinster team to take on Cardiff Blues in the first round of the GUINNESS PRO14 at Cardiff Arms Park on Friday (kick-off 7.35pm) has been named by head coach Leo Cullen.
There is a debut for new signing Joe Tomane, the 17-times capped Australia international, while recent Ireland Under-20 captain Caelan Doris will make his first start for Leinster having made his debut away to Connacht last season off the bench.
Elsewhere, the back-three consists of Dave Kearney, Adam Byrne and last season’s GUINNESS PRO14 top try scorer, Barry Daly. Championship debutant Tomane is joined in the centre by Ireland international Rory O’Loughlin, and Luke McGrath is partnered by Ross Byrne who wins his 50th cap for the province.
The selected front row consists of Peter Dooley, James Tracy and Michael Bent, with Ross Molony and Scott Fardy, who is starting the second season of his two-year deal, in behind. The 23-year-old Josh Murphy and captain Rhys Ruddock start on the flanks with Doris, who turned 20 in April, stationed at number 8.
Tickets for the defending PRO14 champions’ first home game of the new season against another of the Welsh sides, Bernard Jackman’s Dragons, are on sale now from €;25 at ticketmaster.ie.
LEINSTER (v Cardiff Blues): Dave Kearney; Adam Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin, Joe Tomane, Barry Daly; Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath; Peter Dooley, James Tracy, Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Scott Fardy, Josh Murphy, Rhys Ruddock (capt), Caelan Doris.
Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Ed Byrne, Andrew Porter, Mick Kearney, Max Deegan, Jamison Gibson-Park, Noel Reid, Fergus McFadden.