Coghlan switches to Leinster backs

 

Rugby:Leinster coach Joe Schmidt is known for being innovative and forward thinking in terms of playing patterns and his decision to select Jordan Coghlan at inside centre underlines that general philosophy.

Coghlan, played number eight at school with Clongowes, and during the Under-20 World Cup in South Africa, he filled all three backrow positions with Ireland at one stage during the tournament. An excellent athlete – he is an underage international in cricket – he possesses both pace and physique and it will be interesting to note how he fares in this new role.

Leinster travels to Franklin’s Gardens tomorrow (3.0) to take on the Northampton Saints with a young side. It’s bolstered by the presence of experienced players in the form of captain, Leo Cullen, hooker Richardt Strauss, Devin Toner and Isaac Boss.

Last weekend’s 33-22 victory over Gloucester saw plenty of young players given the opportunity to gain first team minutes. Le Auva’a is joined in the back-row by Jordi Murphy and Dominic Ryan who both featured off the bench in Tallaght stadium.

In the backline, Boss links up with Noel Reid – one of six Academy products - at half back while Coghlan makes his bow at inside centre alongside Brendan Macken. South African loose-head prop Heinke van der Merwe is included on the bench after the recent birth of his second Irish-born son, Eli.

Leinster:A Conway; A Boyle, B Macken, J Coghlan, S Coghlan-Murray; N Reid, I Boss; J McGrath, R Strauss, M Moore; L Cullen (capt), D Toner; D Ryan, J Murphy, L Auva’a. Replacements:T Sexton, H van der Merwe, J Hagan, T Denton, B Marshall, J Cooney, I Madigan, C O’Shea, F Carr, J O’Connell.

Northampton Saints:B Foden; V Artemyev, G Pisi, D Waldouck, P Diggin; R Lamb, L Dickson; S Tonga’uiha, D Hartley (capt), B Mujati; M Sorenson, C Day; S Manoa; T Harrison, P Dowson.

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