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Adam Byrne Set For 50th Leinster Cap Against Cheetahs

Adam Byrne Set For 50th Leinster Cap Against Cheetahs

Kildare man Adam Byrne has scored four tries for Leinster this season, including two in the Heineken Champions Cup ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has made nine personnel changes and two positional switches to the team to play the Toyota Cheetahs in the GUINNESS PRO14 at the RDS on Friday night (kick-off 7.35pm).

Rhys Ruddock has returned to full fitness from a hamstring injury to captain the province from the back row, with Max Deegan and Caelan Doris again completing the loose forwards, Australian international Scott Fardy, who has signed a one-year contract extension, rejoins Ross Molony in the second row.

There is a completely new front row with Peter Dooley, Bryan Byrne and Michael Bent all starting, while Jamison Gibson-Park, Rory O’Loughlin, Adam Byrne and Dave Kearney have been added to the back-line. Kill native Byrne comes in on the right wing for his 50th Leinster cap.

Byrne’s inclusion sees Fergus McFadden swap across to the left wing, with in-form Mullingar man Conor O’Brien moving to inside centre to accommodate the return of O’Loughlin, the scorer of the ninth and final try against the Isuzu Southern Kings, in the number 13 jersey.

Clontarf lock Mick Kearney has recovered from the shoulder knock he picked up last week to take his place in the matchday 23. Tickets for Friday’s game are on sale at leinsterrugby.ie or from the Ticketmaster office at the RDS which will be open from 6pm on match night.

LEINSTER (v Toyota Cheetahs): Dave Kearney; Adam Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin, Conor O’Brien, Fergus McFadden; Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Peter Dooley, Bryan Byrne, Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Scott Fardy, Rhys Ruddock (capt), Max Deegan, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: James Tracy, Ed Byrne, Andrew Porter, Mick Kearney, Josh Murphy, Hugh O’Sullivan, Noel Reid, Barry Daly.