Leinster name side for Ulster friendly

Leo Cullen’s side will take on Ulster in Navan on Saturday

Jack Conan will captain Leinster in Navan.

Jack Conan will captain Leinster in Navan.

 

The green shoots of the rugby season will be visible in Navan tomorrow when Leinster host their provincial siblings Ulster in the first of several pre-season friendly matches in the build-up to competitive fare that starts in earnest with the first round of the Guinness Pro12 matches on the weekend of September 2nd.

Jack Conan captains Leinster and is joined in the team by a host of promising young players alongside some more experienced hands. Niall Morris, is named at fullback, and will play his first match in a Leinster jersey since March 2011, having spent the interim with the Leicester Tigers.

Adam Byrne and Tom Daly were integral parts of the Ireland Sevens programme, while former Gonzaga schoolboy Barry Daly, gets a chance on the left wing, following a couple of impressive try scoring seasons with UCD.

Centre Rory O’Loughlin, happily injury free, gets his chance in midfield while the halfback paring reunites former St Michael’s and Ireland Under-20 players, Ross Byrne and Nick McCarthy. Peter Dooley and James Tracy made a combined 38 appearances for the province last season and are joined in the front row by Ireland international Michael Bent.

The back five includes a couple of other St Michael’s past pupils in Ross Molony and Dan Leavy. Hadyn Triggs will soon be joined by his former Hurricanes teammate, scrumhalf Jamison Gibson-Park, the latter fresh from a victory in the Super Rugby tournament.

There are a number of players returning from injury that have been named on the bench, including Josh van der Flier and Fergus McFadden. Former Munster secondrow Ian Nagle should make his competitive bow, while Andrew Porter and Vakh Abdaladze were members of the Ireland Under-20 side that got to the recent World Championship final.

Leinster: N Morris; A Byrne, R O’Loughlin, T Daly, B Daly; R Byrne, N McCarthy; P Dooley, J Tracy, M Bent; R Molony, H Triggs; D Ryan, D Leavy, J Conan (capt). Replacements: B Byrne, S McNulty, A Porter, V Abdaladze, I Nagle, P Timmins, J van der Flier, J Murphy, L McGrath, C Rock, J Carbery, C Marsh, Z Kirchner, F McFadden, B Dardis.

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