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Molony, Baird And Murphy Added To Leinster Pack

Molony, Baird And Murphy Added To Leinster Pack

Ryan Baird throws a pass during his appearance off the bench as Leinster ran out comprehensive winners over Edinburgh at the RDS last Monday ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Ross Molony, Ryan Baird and Josh Murphy come into the Leinster team for Sunday’s Guinness PRO14 game against Cardiff Blues at the RDS (kick-off 5.15pm).

Molony and Baird, who returned from injury off the bench last Monday night, will combine together in the second row, with Murphy slotting in at blindside flanker.

Dan Leavy, the player-of-the-match in that 50-10 bonus point win over Edinburgh, shifts to the openside in a back row anchored by captain Rhys Ruddock.

There are four players from the Leinster Academy in the matchday 23 – starting centre Liam Turner and replacements Michael Milne, Tom Clarkson and Michael Silvester.

It will be Turner’s third start in five rounds, as he joins forces again with Skerries man Ciaran Frawley in midfield as part of an unchanged back-line.

The back-three of Jimmy O’Brien, Cian Kelleher and Dave Kearney have run in a combined seven tries so far this season. Harry Byrne and Luke McGrath get their fifth successive start together at half-back.

There are no alterations to the province’s front row of Peter Dooley, James Tracy and Michael Bent, who have all contributed two tries during the current PRO14 campaign.

Asked about Leinster’s dominant form at the top of Conference A, backs coach Felipe Contepomi commented: “I don’t think we just blow teams away, we have had to work for our victories because definitely there is a lot more for us to improve on and we are conscious of those things.

“You’re only as good as your next game. It’s important that we keep in mind that even if we are getting good results.

“We don’t look much at results, we try to look more at performance, and that’s where I think you realise there are certain things we can get better at.”

LEINSTER (v Cardiff Blues): Jimmy O’Brien; Cian Kelleher, Liam Turner, Ciaran Frawley, Dave Kearney; Harry Byrne, Luke McGrath; Peter Dooley, James Tracy, Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Ryan Baird, Josh Murphy, Dan Leavy, Rhys Ruddock (capt).

Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Michael Milne, Tom Clarkson, Devin Toner, Jack Dunne, Rowan Osborne, Michael Silvester, Scott Penny.