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Tommy O’Brien Takes Centre Stage For Leinster

Tommy O’Brien Takes Centre Stage For Leinster

Former Ireland Under-20 captain Tommy O'Brien kicks ahead during Leinster's 63-8 bonus point victory over Zebre last week ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has made three personnel changes and one positional switch to the team to play Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium on Monday (kick-off 8.15pm).

Number 8 Rhys Ruddock will captain the province for the second week running as they look to continue their unbeaten start at the top of Conference A of the Guinness PRO14.

Cian Kelleher has shaken off a hamstring injury to make his first start of the campaign, joining full-back Jimmy O’Brien and Dave Kearney in a pacy back-three.

The scorer of two tries against Zebre last week, Tommy O’Brien moves from the right wing to midfield where he partners Rory O’Loughlin, who is back to full fitness after a minor calf injury.

Harry Byrne and Luke McGrath complete the back-line, while hooker James Tracy is the only change up front, where he packs down in between Peter Dooley and Michael Bent.

Ross Molony and the 250-times capped Devin Toner resume together at lock, with Ruddock joined again in the back row by Josh Murphy and Scott Penny, who has now scored seven tries in 15 appearances.

A minor adductor strain meant David Hawkshaw missed out on a bench spot in round three, but the 21-year-old back is fit to be included this week as he eyes up his senior debut.

Also boosted by the presence of Dan Leavy who had a successful comeback against the Italians, prop Dooley said: “It’s obviously going to be tough over there in Glasgow. We’ve had fierce battles there over the years.

“A good win there last year, and they’ll obviously be chomping at the bit after getting beat by the Ospreys last weekend. But, a tough team at home in Scotstoun, (they) beat Scarlets there two weeks ago.

“So, I know well they’ll have a chip on their shoulder against us and be looking to tear into us on Monday night.

“That’s what we see these (international) periods as, we call it the ‘own the jersey’ period and it’s time for people to step up.

“It doesn’t matter what age you are, how many caps you have, if you’re given the jersey, you’ve that responsibility to do it justice and play well for Leinster.

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve one cap or 250 caps like Dev (Toner), you have to treat it with the respect it deserves.”

LEINSTER (v Glasgow Warriors): Jimmy O’Brien; Cian Kelleher, Rory O’Loughlin, Tommy O’Brien, Dave Kearney; Harry Byrne, Luke McGrath; Peter Dooley, James Tracy, Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Devin Toner, Josh Murphy, Scott Penny, Rhys Ruddock (capt).

Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Michael Milne, Tom Clarkson, Jack Dunne, Scott Fardy, Hugh O’Sullivan, David Hawkshaw, Dan Leavy.