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Toner To Equal Leinster Caps Record Against Ospreys

Toner To Equal Leinster Caps Record Against Ospreys

Meath man Devin Toner is pictured during a recent Guinness PRO14 game at the RDS ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

The Leinster team to face the Ospreys at the RDS on Friday (kick-off 7.15pm) shows seven personnel changes to the side that won away to Zebre last week.

There are also three positional switches as head coach Leo Cullen opts to rotate his squad ahead of Saturday week’s Guinness PRO14 final against Munster at the same venue.

Scott Fardy will captain the side from the back row with Devin Toner due to win his 261st Leinster cap, bringing him level with the province’s all-time record caps holder Gordon D’Arcy.

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Rory O’Loughlin, the Guinness player-of-the-match in Parma, moves to the right wing in place of the injured Cian Kelleher. The back-three is completed by Max O’Reilly and Dave Kearney, the scorer of three tries in the Zebre game.

Skerries man Ciaran Frawley is partnered in midfield by Naas’ Jamie Osborne, who comes in for his second start, as does Rowan Osborne who joins Harry Byrne at half-back.

Birr native Peter Dooley hits the 90-cap mark in the front row, with Sean Cronin and Michael Bent alongside him this week. Toner is back in the engine room, packing down with Ross Molony.

Fardy gets a run-out at blindside flanker – his last start there was against Saracens in the 2019 Heineken Champions Cup final – and Scott Penny and Josh Murphy show their versatility again by shifting to openside and number 8 respectively.

On the bench, promising youngsters Sean O’Brien and Tim Corkery will experience a game at the RDS for the first time after their successful debuts off the bench against Zebre.

It will also be Clane man Marcus Hanan’s first experience of the RDS, while 20-year-old Academy back Andrew Smith is in line to win his second cap if introduced.

LEINSTER (v Ospreys): Max O’Reilly; Rory O’Loughlin, Jamie Osborne, Ciaran Frawley, Dave Kearney; Harry Byrne, Rowan Osborne; Peter Dooley, Sean Cronin, Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Devin Toner, Scott Fardy (capt), Scott Penny, Josh Murphy.

Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Marcus Hanan, Thomas Clarkson, Jack Dunne, Sean O’Brien, Hugh O’Sullivan, Tim Corkery, Andrew Smith.