Dan Leavy could make Leinster return against Zebre
Ireland flanker is named on the bench for Pro14 clash after nearly 18 months out
Dan Leavy has been named on the Leinster bench for Friday’s clash with Zebre. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Pro14: Leinster v Zebre Rugby, Friday October 23rd, RDS Arena (kick-off 7.35pm, TG4, Eir Sport)
Dan Leavy is poised to return to action for the first time since suffering a horrific knee injury in a Champions Cup quarter-final match against Ulster at the Aviva stadium in March of last year. He is named among the replacements for Leinster’s Pro 14 game against Zebre in the RDS on Friday night (7.35).
It’s a significant landmark for the 26-year-old Leinster and Ireland flanker, who has worked so hard to overcome the injury and also for his province and country in the return of an outstanding player.
Cullen has named four uncapped players in his matchday 23, centre Liam Turner, hooker Dan Sheehan, outhalf cum centre David Hawkshaw and prop Ciarán Parker. Dave Kearney returns following a hamstring injury and will win his 150th appearance, Peter Dooley after a shoulder issue while Ciarán Frawley has also recovered from a facial injury.
The 21-year-old Turner was part of the 2019 under-20 Grand Slam-winning side, so too Hawkshaw, who captained the team before a serious knee injury suffered in training before the French match in that campaign.
Sheehan, 22, was promoted to a senior contract during the summer but has been unavailable because of a cheekbone injury. Devin Toner will make his 250th appearance for the province.
On the bench, Parker is in line to make his Leinster debut should he be introduced. The 25-year-old signed for Leinster last month on loan from Jersey Reds having previously played with Sale Sharks and Munster.
LEINSTER: Jimmy O’Brien; Tommy O’Brien, Liam Turner, Ciarán Frawley, Dave Kearney; Harry Byrne, Luke McGrath; Peter Dooley, Dan Sheehan, Michael Bent; Devin Toner, Ross Molony; Josh Murphy, Scott Penny, Rhys Ruddock.
Replacements: James Tracy, Michael Milne, Ciaran Parker, Jack Dunne, Scott Fardy, Hugh O’Sullivan, David Hawkshaw, Dan Leavy.
Referee: Craig Evans (WRU).