Scott Fardy and Jordan Larmour to make Leinster debuts

Max Deegan will make his first senior start for Leinster, with James Ryan named on bench

Jordan Lamour will make his Leinster debut on Saturday. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Jordan Lamour will make his Leinster debut on Saturday. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has given debuts to Scott Fardy and Jordan Larmour for Saturday’s Pro14 opener against the Dragons in Rodney Parade.

The two are at different ends of the age and experience spectrum - 33 year old Australian international Fardy will start in the second row, while 20 year old former St Andrew’s student Larmour makes his debut on the left wing.

There is also the potential for a third Leinster debut with lock James Ryan named amongst the replacements. Ryan made his senior Ireland debut on the recent summer tour to USA and Japan.

Rob Kearney makes his competitive return and plays for Leinster for the first time in nearly eight months, with his last competitive outing in blue coming in January against Castres in the Champions Cup.

Adam Byrne, who scored 10 tries in all competitions last season, starts on the right wing with Larmour on the left.

Isa Nacewa will captain the side from the centre with newly capped Irish international Rory O’Loughlin beside him in the number 13 jersey.

Jamison Gibson-Park and Ross Byrne pick up where they left off in Donnybrook last week at nine and 10.

In the pack Cian Healy makes his first appearance of the season having not featured in any of the pre-season matches. Beside him Seán Cronin is back at hooker after hamstring and neck injuries hampered the second half of last season with Michael Bent completing the front row at tight head prop.

Devin Toner makes his 199th appearance for Leinster in the second row. The Meath man is joined by the 39 times capped Australian Fardy.

Dan Leavy starts at blindside flanker with Josh van der Flier selected for the openside. Finally, exciting academy prospect Max Deegan completes the pack and lines out in the number eight jersey for his first senior start for Leinster on the occasion of his fourth cap.

Leinster: Rob Kearney; Adam Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin, Isa Nacewa (Capt), Jordan Larmour; Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Cian Healy, Seán Cronin, Michael Bent; Devin Toner, Scott Fardy; Dan Leavy, Josh van der Flier, Max Deegan.

Replacements: James Tracy, Ed Byrne, Andrew Porter, James Ryan, Jack Conan, Nick McCarthy, Cathal Marsh, Barry Daly.

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