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O’Briens Combine In The Centre For Leinster

O’Briens Combine In The Centre For Leinster

Conor and Jimmy O'Brien will link up in the centre for Leinster's round 12 date with the Ospreys at the Gnoll ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has made eight personnel changes and one positional switch for Friday’s GUINNESS PRO14 clash with the Ospreys at the Gnoll (kick-off 7.35pm).

With Ronan Kelleher on Ireland duty, James Tracy takes over in the number 2 jersey, and Peter Dooley and Michael Bent, one of the try scorers against the Toyota Cheetahs last Saturday, complete the front row trio.

Scott Fardy continues as captain, alongside Ross Molony at lock, and Rhys Ruddock moves to number 8 in a back row completed by Josh Murphy and Scott Penny, who makes his 12th senior appearance.

An all-new back-three features full-back Hugo Keenan and wing duo Cian Kelleher and James Lowe, Jimmy and Conor O’Brien pair up together in midfield, and Ciaran Frawley, who kicked 11 points in the Cheetahs game, is joined at half-back by Jamison Gibson-Park.

There are six Leinster Academy players among the replacements – Michael Milne, Jack Aungier, Ryan Baird, Harry Byrne, Jack Dunne and Tommy O’Brien – with the latter two having played for Dublin University and UCD in the Energia All-Ireland League last Saturday.

Sean Cronin, the most-capped member of the matchday squad with 179 Leinster games under his belt, is also primed to appear from the bench along with Trinity scrum half Rowan Osborne who could make his fourth appearance of the season.

Meanwhile, Leinster have confirmed that Carlow-born hooker Bryan Byrne has joined Gallagher Premiership club Bristol Bears on loan for the remainder of the season.

“We’re grateful to Leo Cullen and the IRFU for supporting this move and for their co-operation,” said Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam. “Like all Leinster players, Bryan has proven quality and experience at the highest level of the domestic game.”

LEINSTER (v Ospreys): Hugo Keenan; Cian Kelleher, Jimmy O’Brien, Conor O’Brien, James Lowe; Ciaran Frawley, Jamison Gibson-Park; Peter Dooley, James Tracy, Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Scott Fardy (capt), Josh Murphy, Scott Penny, Rhys Ruddock.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Michael Milne, Jack Aungier, Jack Dunne, Ryan Baird, Rowan Osborne, Harry Byrne, Tommy O’Brien.