Stephen Cluxton named to start Leinster final

Dublin goalkeeper and captain appears to have won his fitness race to face Laois

Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton will wear the number one jersey against Laois. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton will wear the number one jersey against Laois. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

 

Stephen Cluxton is set to start between the posts for Dublin in Sunday’s Leinster final against Laois.

The Dublin captain and goalkeeper has appeared to have won his fitness race, after limping off during the semi-final victory against Longford, and has been named in Jim Gavin’s XV. After little over 20 minutes of that 19 point victory Cluxton was hit late after fisting clear a high ball. Longford fullforward James McGivney was shown a red card for the challenge.

Following Cluxton’s rib injury, the 20-year-old Evan Comerford came on for his championship debut. It was Cluxton’s first time not finishing a championship game for Dublin since his sending off against Armagh in 2003.

Dublin are therefore unchanged, with Brian Howard retaining his place in the halfback line. For Laois the talented Evan O’Carroll is in for Ross Munnelly, who will certainly be needed before the end if Dublin’s surge for eight Leinster titles in a row is to be halted.

DUBLIN: Stephen Cluxton; Philly McMahon, Michael Fitzsimons, Eric Lowndes; Brian Howard, James McCarthy, Jonny Cooper; Brian Fenton, Michael Darragh MacAuley; Niall Scully, Con O’Callaghan, Ciaran Kilkenny; Paul Mannion, Dean Rock, Paddy Andrews.

LAOIS: Graham Brody; Darren Strong, Mark Timmons, Gareth Dillon; Trevor Collins, Colm Begley, Finbarr Crowley; John O’Loughlin, Kieran Lillis; Alan Farrell, Paul Kingston, Niall Donoher; Evan O’Carroll, Donal Kingston, Damien O’Connor.

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