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Leinster team to face Dragons

Kirchner

Leinster Rugby Head Coach Leo Cullen has announced his match day 23 to face the Newport Gwent Dragons tomorrow evening in the Guinness PRO12 in the RDS Arena (Kick Off: 7.35pm – live on TG4).

Tickets for the game are still on sale at leinsterrugby.ie/tickets or from the ticket office located just inside the Anglesea Road gate from 6.05pm.

There is a welcome return from international duty for a number of players while it could be a very special day for a few others who are in line to make their debuts off the bench. In total there are three changes in the backs with another four in the pack.

Peter Dooley and Michael Bent continue at loose and tight head respectively but James Tracy comes in from the start this week having come off the bench last weekend in Parc y Scarlets.

There is a new second row pairing with Ross Molony and Hayden Triggs starting while in the back row there is a further change with Rhys Ruddock coming in for the injured Dominic Ryan, with Dan Leavy and Jack Conan continuing at open side flanker and No. 8.

In the backs Zane Kirchner comes in at full back which moves captain Isa Nacewa to the left wing and Adam Byrne continues on the right having scored a try in each of the last three games with Leinster. With five tries to his name for the season UCD winger Byrne is third on the Guinness PRO12 tries scored table.

It’s again a St. Michael’s combination in the centre as Noel Reid and Rory O’Loughlin continue in the 12 and 13 jerseys, while in the half backs Luke McGrath and Joey Carbery both start, having made their international debuts during the recent Autumn schedule.

On the bench two Leinster Academy players, Lansdowne’s Max Deegan and Old Belvedere’s Charlie Rock, are in line to make their Leinster senior debuts, with Jeremy Loughman is involved in a match day squad for the first time this season.

LEINSTER: (Leinster caps in brackets)

Peter Dooley (27)
James Tracy (26)
Michael Bent (70)
Ross Molony (30)
Hayden Triggs (17)
Rhys Ruddock (118)
Dan Leavy (24)
Jack Conan (34)
Luke McGrath (58)
Joey Carbery (9)
Isa Nacewa (157) CAPTAIN
Noel Reid (69)
Rory O’Loughlin (6)
Adam Byrne (7)
Zane Kirchner 73)

Richardt Strauss (133)
Andrew Porter (3)
Jeremy Loughman (3)
Mike McCarthy (69)
Max Deegan (0)
Charlie Rock (0)
Ross Byrne (6)
Tom Daly (2)

Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR, 58th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Matteo Liperini (FIR), Stuart Douglas (IRFU)
Citing Commissioner: John Cole (IRFU)
TMO: Stefano Penne (FIR)