U20 Grand slam winning outhalf Sam Prendergast gets his first start for Leinster Rugby in URC against the Bulls on Saturday.
EMIRATES LIONS V LEINSTER
- Marius Louw has missed more tackles than any other player (39); his tackle success rate is 77%. However, he has made the most dominant tackles in the league (23)
- PJ Botha has thrown into the most successful lineouts in the BKT URC, a total of 132. A league-high 13 of these have been thrown beyond the 15-metre line
- Sanele Nohamba is the only player in the league to have kicked three 50/22s
- Harry Byrne made more kicks (16) and kick metres (546) than any other player in Round 16. A round-high three of his kicks were retained and he became the first player to kick two 50/22s in a single match this season
- Rob Russell won as many turnovers as any other player in Leinster’s last league appearance (three, = Shane Lewis-Hughes). So far this season, he has won the joint-most turnovers in the Leinster squad (seven, = Ryan Baird)
- Leinster have scored nine more tries from tap penalties than any other team, a total of 15
Did You Know?
Last season, this fixture was an eight-point game. At half time, Leinster led by just seven points to six.
The Emirates Lions are on a three-match winning streak, their first since October. They haven’t won four consecutive matches this season.
Leinster’s draw against the Stormers was the first time they have failed to win in the BKT URC in 15 matches.
Rhys Ruddock captains the team in Johannesburg’s Emirates Airlines Park, with Leinster Academy fly-half Sam Prendergast set to make his Leinster debut.
Chris Cosgrave starts at full-back. On the wings, Dave Kearney is set to make his 150th league appearance, while there is a welcome return for Tommy O’Brien, who makes his first appearance of the season after recovering from a knee injury.
In the centre, Liam Turner is joined by Ben Brownlee. Ireland Under-20 fly-half Prendergast makes his debut, with Nick McCarthy partnering him at scrum-half.
In the front row, Georgia international Vakhtang Abdaladze is set for his first Leinster start. He will pack down with Michael Milne and Lee Barron.
Brian Deeny joins South African international Jason Jenkins in the second row, with Ruddock, Will Connors and Max Deegan forming the back-row.
On the bench, five Academy players are set to feature with Alex Soroka, James Culhane, Ben Murphy, Charlie Tector and Rob Russell all looking to impress.
Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):
15. Chris Cosgrave (5)
14. Tommy O’Brien (21)
13. Liam Turner (16)
12. Ben Brownlee (2)
11. Dave Kearney (182)
10. Sam Prendergast (0)
9. Nick McCarthy (59)
1. Michael Milne (28)
2. Lee Barron (5)
3. Vakhtang Abdaladze (26)
4. Brian Deeny (11)
5. Jason Jenkins (14)
6. Rhys Ruddock (220) CAPTAIN
7. Will Connors (33)
8. Max Deegan (94)
16. Tadgh McElroy (2)
17. Ed Byrne (94)
18. Thomas Clarkson (24)
19. Alex Soroka (7)
20. James Culhane (1)
21. Ben Murphy (1)
22. Charlie Tector (5)
23. Rob Russell (16)
Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU)