Josh Murphy included in Leinster XV for first time
Leo Cullen also welcomes back a number of Ireland internationals involved against Fiji
Leinster have named Josh Murphy in their starting 15 for the visit of the Dragons. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has recalled a number of players from injury including captain Isa Nacewa as well as handing a first senior start to Josh Murphy for the visit of the Dragons to the RDS on Friday night.
Cullen also welcomes back into the squad a number of players that had been involved with Ireland last weekend in the Guinness Series.
Jordan Larmour starts at fullback with Fergus McFadden selected on the right wing having receovered from a hamstring injury. On the left wing Nacewa captains the side on his first Leinster start since the loss to the Cheetahs in September. It is also his 175th cap for Leinster since his debut in September 2008 against the Cardiff Blues. In that time he has scored 43 tries and a total of 658 points.
In the centre Noel Reid and Rory O’Loughlin are partnered together for the fourth time this season, while Jamison Gibson-Park and Ross Byrne are the halfbacks selected by Cullen.
In the pack Ed Byrne, Seán Cronin and Michael Bent start in the front row with Ross Molony and Scott Fardy behind them in the second.
In the backrow there is a first start for Josh Murphy who made his debut against Glasgow Warriors off the bench. Murphy is joined by Jordi Murphy who started for Ireland last weekend against Fiji and Max Deegan who starts at number eight.
On the bench, Conor O’Brien is in line to make his first ever appearance at the RDS, while Cullen welcomes Andrew Porter and Jack Conan back from Ireland duties.
Should he be introduced Richardt Strauss will win his 150th cap for Leinster against the Dragons, while there is also a first involvement of the season for Ian Nagle who has returned from a pectoral muscle injury.
LEINSTER: Jordan Larmour; Fergus McFadden, Rory O’Loughlin, Noel Reid, Isa Nacewa (Capt); Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Ed Byrne, Seán Cronin, Michael Bent; Ross Molony, Scott Fardy; Josh Murphy, Jordi Murphy; Max Deegan.
Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Peter Dooley, Andrew Porter, Ian Nagle, Jack Conan, Nick McCarthy, Cathal Marsh, Conor O’Brien.