Byrne brothers Harry and Ross to double up for Leinster against Dragons
Pair are expected to share responsibilities at first receiver for trip to Rodney Parade
Ross and Harry Byrne start for Leinster against the Dragons. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Pro 14 Group A: Dragons v Leinster, Friday February 19th, Rodney Parade (kick-off 7.35pm).
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has neatly avoided the growing debate around Johnny Sexton’s long term successor at outhalf by naming both Byrne brothers, Harry and Ross, in the starting XV to play the Dragons at Rodney Parade on Friday night.
Harry Byrne gets the nod at outhalf with Ross Byrne wearing 12 but the pair are expected to share responsibilities at first receiver.
The brothers have never started a game together.
Marcus Hanan, an Ireland Under-20s loosehead prop last season, is named on the bench. The Clane RFC man has yet to enter the Leinster Academy.
Jack Conan wins his 100th cap at number eight alongside flankers Josh Murphy and Scott Penny.
Ryan Baird comes in at lock - after being released from the Ireland camp this week - while Luke McGrath captains the team from scrumhalf but all eyes will be on his halfback partners.
Leinster: Max O’Reilly; Cian Kelleher, Rory O’Loughlin, Ross Byrne, Dave Kearney; Harry Byrne, Luke McGrath (capt); Peter Dooley, James Tracy, Michael Bent; Ross Molony, Ryan Baird; Josh Murphy, Scott Penny, Jack Conan. Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Marcus Hanan, Tom Clarkson, Devin Toner, Scott Fardy, Rowan Osborne, David Hawkshaw, Jamie Osborne.