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Ringrose And Ryan Return To Begin Leinster Co-Captaincy

Ringrose And Ryan Return To Begin Leinster Co-Captaincy

Ireland international James Ryan is pictured during a Leinster training session at UCD earlier in the week ©INPHO/Nick Elliott

Garry Ringrose and James Ryan return from Rugby World Cup duty to jointly lead the Leinster team to play the Scarlets at the RDS on Saturday night (kick-off 7.35pm). Tickets are available to buy online here.

Ringrose and Ryan were recently announced as Leinster’s co-captains for this season, and they will make their seasonal debuts alongside seven more players who are back in the blue jersey following on from Ireland’s quarter-final exit in Paris.

Head coach Leo Cullen has made 11 personnel changes to the side that won 33-10 at the Dragons last Sunday. Jimmy O’Brien is joined by Jordan Larmour and the returning Hugo Keenan in the back-three.

Naas man Jamie Osborne, who turned 22 yesterday, switches to inside centre to accommodate Ringrose’s inclusion, while Sam Prendergast, another of the province’s Kildare contingent, makes his first home start for Leinster, pairing up with Jamison Gibson-Park at half-back.

Thomas Clarkson and Joe McCarthy, the player-of-the-match in Newport, are the only players retained up front. Max Deegan and seasonal debutants Ryan, Andrew Porter, Ronan Kelleher, Josh van der Flier and Caelan Doris all come into the starting XV.

There is a mix of experience and youth on the bench as Ross Byrne prepares to make his 150th appearance for the province, while Academy scrum half Fintan Gunne is ready to step up for his senior debut.

The 20-year-old Gunne travelled to South Africa with the Leinster squad last season and gained valuable experience. The Terenure College clubman starred for the Grand Slam-winning Ireland Under-20s, who also reached the World Rugby U-20 Championship final.

Leinster also welcome back Tadhg Furlong for a spot on the bench, with assistant coach Robin McBryde saying: “The Scarlets had a few tough away trips to the South African teams (in recent weeks). They have nothing to lose and are coming here to make a point.

“There is no more dangerous team than the Scarlets in that mode. They are very dangerous in the backs. If the forwards can give them a platform, they will be a handful.”

Tommy O’Brien (ankle) and Cormac Foley (shoulder) have joined Leinster’s injury list and were unavailable for selection this week. Leo Cullen’s side have won their last three URC games and are unbeaten against Welsh opposition since losing at Cardiff in January 2022.

LEINSTER (v Scarlets): Hugo Keenan; Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose (co-capt), Jamie Osborne, Jimmy O’Brien; Sam Prendergast, Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Ronan Kelleher, Thomas Clarkson, Joe McCarthy, James Ryan (co-capt), Max Deegan, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Jack Boyle, Tadhg Furlong, Ross Molony, Scott Penny, Fintan Gunne, Ross Byrne, Ciaran Frawley.