Rob Kearney captains Leinster against the Scarlets

James Lowe also returns to action as Leo Cullen’s side welcome Welsh to the RDS

Rob Kearney will lead Leinster against the Scarlets on Friday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Rob Kearney will lead Leinster against the Scarlets on Friday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Pro14, Leinster v Scarlets, Friday January 25th, RDS Arena (kick-off 7.35pm, eirSport, TG4).

Rob Kearney captains Leinster against the Scarlets at the RDS on Friday night, as he bids to prove his fitness ahead of Ireland’s Six Nations opener against England on February 2nd.

Kearney starts at fullback with James Lowe restored to the wing - his first appearance since he was sent-off in the Pro14 defeat to Munster in December.

They are joined in the back three by Barry Daly, while Conor O’Brien and Rory O’Loughlin can resume the midfield partnership which proved effective against Connacht during the festive interpros.

Ciarán Frawley takes the number 10 jersey, and he is joined by Hugh O’Sullivan in the halfbacks - the scrumhalf making his first start for the province.

Up front Jack McGrath starts alongside James Tracy and Michael Bent in the frontrow, with Ross Molony and Mick Kearney at lock. Max Deegan, Scott Penny and Caelan Doris are named in the backrow.

The uncapped Jack Dunne is named on the bench, and could be set to make his Leinster debut against the raiders from west Wales.

Leinster: Rob Kearney (capt); Barry Daly, Rory O’Loughlin, Conor O’Brien, James Lowe; Ciarán Frawley, Hugh O’Sullivan; Jack McGrath, James Tracy, Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Mick Kearney, Max Deegan, Scott Penny, Caelan Doris. Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Ed Byrne, Vakh Abdaladze, Jack Dunne, Oisín Dowling, Jamison Gibson-Park, Noel Reid, Jimmy O’Brien.

Scarlets: Johnny McNicholl; Ioan Nicholas, Kieron Fonotia, Steff Hughes (capt), Paul Asquith; Dan Jones, Kieran Hardy; Phil Price, Marc Jones, Werner Kruger, Jake Ball, David Bulbring, Tom Price, Dan Davis, Josh Macleod. Replacements: Dafydd Hughes, Dylan Evans, Simon Gardiner, Josh Helps, Ed Kennedy, Jon Evans, Morgan Williams, Tom Prydie.

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)

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