Duo to return to South Africa with visas, as Leinster name XV

Leo Cullen names team for Saturday, with New Zealanders to return next week

The Leinster squad during a training session this week in UCD, Dublin. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The Leinster squad during a training session this week in UCD, Dublin. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Leinster scrumhalf Jamison Gibson-Park and team captain Isa Nacewa will rejoin the squad in South Africa on Sunday after being refused entry to the country when the team first arrived on Wednesday.

The New Zealand nationals returned to Ireland on Thursday and successfully applied for a visa from the South African Embassy in Dublin.

It means the two will have travelled to South Africa, back to Ireland and out to South Africa between Tuesday and Sunday of this week with each leg taking approximately 13 hours.

The duo will miss the province’s Saturday match against the Kings in Port Elizabeth but will have five days to recover for Leinster’s second game against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday next.

Leo Cullen has called on the services of a number of Irish internationals that have returned from injury including Joey Carbery, who has recovered to take up the fullback slot for his first competitive outing of the season.

Adam Byrne starts on the right wing with Dave Kearney making his first Pro14 start of the season on the left wing following injury.

Noel Reid has recovered from a hand injury to start in his first game of the season with Rory O’Loughlin at outside centre with scrumhalf Luke McGrath and Ross Byrne the half back combination for the second week in a row.

Ed Byrne makes his first start in Leinster colours at loosehead prop. He is joined by Seán Cronin at hooker and Andrew Porter at tighthead.

Ross Molony is involved for the first time this season at lock, while James Ryan gets his first start in Leinster colours, having won two Irish caps during the summer tour to USA and Japan.

In a very strong back row Rhys Ruddock captains the side with Jordi Murphy making his competitive return from an ACL injury that he picked up last November in Ireland’s win over New Zealand in Chicago. Jack Conan starts at number 8 for the second week in a row.

LEINSTER: Joey Carbery; Adam Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin, Noel Reid, Dave Kearney; Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath; Ed Byrne, Seán Cronin, Andrew Porter; Ross Molony, James Ryan; Rhys Ruddock (Capt), Jordi Murphy,  Jack Conan.

Replacements: James Tracy, Cian Healy, Michael Bent, Mick Kearney, Josh van der Flier, Cathal Marsh, Jordan Larmour.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)

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