Leinster v Dragons – Preview and Team News – Kick off Friday 8.15pm

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Pro14 Rugby – Leinster v Dragons – Preview and Team News – Kick off Friday 8.15. Match live on TG4.

It was only September 12th that Leinster were lifting their third Pro 14 title in a row, but on Friday, just 20 days after that success over Ulster, Leo Cullen’s charges will set out on this season’s Pro 14 journey at home to Dragons.

Ryan Excited

Dragons Director of Rugby Dean Ryan has welcomed the “excitement” of starting the Welsh team’s season off at the home of the champions.

“You’re either daunted going to Leinster or really excited about challenging yourselves,” Ryan said

“We’ve tried to sit in that second camp.”

Leinster for their part will aim to put the devastation of their Champions Cup defeat to Saracens in the rear view mirror as they begin their new season at an empty R.D.S.

Furlong and Leavy to miss out

The wait to see Tadhg Furlong on a rugby pitch once more will go on for a while yet.

Leinster Head Coach Leo Cullen has declared that the tight-head prop who has not been seen since rugby’s restart in August due to a back injury, picked up a calf problem in the build up to the Saracens game and will be unavailable for “a number of weeks” as a result.

Another Leinster star whose return to the fold has been pushed back is open-side Dan Leavy. Leavy misses out as he’s training load is being managed this week after returning from a knee injury.

With Dublin in Level 3 of the Living with Covid Guidelines, no supporters will be in attendance but the game will be available to watch on both Eir Sport and TG4.
To team news and Johnny Sexton will lead the side out for the first game of the new Guinness PRO14 season with Jamison Gibson-Park his half back partner.
Elsewhere in the backs it’s Hugo Keenan at full back with Jordan Larmour on the right wing and James Lowe on the left.
In the centre former Skerries Community College man Ciarán Frawley starts at inside centre with Garry Ringrose outside him at 13.
In the pack Ed Byrne is selected at loosehead prop, with Rónan Kelleher at hooker and Michael Bent at tighthead.
Scott Fardy and James Ryan are selected in the second row, with Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier and Jack Conan completing the starting XV.
Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):

15. Hugo Keenan (18)
14. Jordan Larmour (50)
13. Garry Ringrose (76)
12. Ciarán Frawley (26)
11. James Lowe (47)
10. Johnny Sexton (167) CAPTAIN
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (93)
1. Ed Byrne (57)
2. Rónan Kelleher (15)
3. Michael Bent (140)
4. Scott Fardy (61)
5. James Ryan (39)
6. Rhys Ruddock (173)

7. Josh van der Flier (84)
8. Jack Conan (93)

16. Seán Cronin (185)
17. Cian Healy (220)
18. Andrew Porter (66)
19. Ryan Baird (10)
20. Max Deegan (64)
21. Luke McGrath (127)

22. Ross Byrne (89)
23. Tommy O’Brien (3)

Referee: Andrea Piardi (FIR)

The game kicks off at 8.15pm on Friday and is live on Eir Sport and TG4.

 

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