Leinster Rugby head coach Leo Cullen has named his first Leinster Rugby XV to take on Ulster this evening at Kingspan Stadium (Kick Off: 7.30pm).

The Leinster XV is a mixture of youth and experience with three Academy players included, with Irish internationals Noel Reid, Jamie Hagan and Dominic Ryan also in from the start.

20 year old UCD full back Billy Dardis starts at 15 with fellow Academy and UCD player Adam Byrne selected on the left wing. Last season’s joint top try-scorer Darragh Fanning completes the back three.

It is a familiar centre partnership with Noel Reid at inside and Ben Te’o at outside centre. Luke McGrath, who was top of the try scoring table last year with Fanning on six tries, starts at scrumhalf while St Mary’s Cathal Marsh is at number ten.

The third Academy player is Peter Dooley, who made his Leinster debut last season against Edinburgh in the Guinness PRO12. Dooley starts at loosehead prop with Jamie Hagan at tighthead. James Tracy starts at hooker.

Tadhg Beirne in his first year out of the Academy starts in the second row beside Tom Denton. While in the back row Dominic Ryan captains the side from blindside flanker. Josh van der Flier, who played six times for Leinster last season while still in the Academy starts at openside, while Clontarf’s Tony Ryan starts at number eight.

Leo Cullen will bring an extended squad of 33 players to Kingspan Stadium and replacements will be confirmed before the game. The extended squad includes summer signings Isa Nacewa and Royce Burke-Flynn while other members of the Leinster Academy like Garry Ringrose and Nick McCarthy are also included. 

Tickets for the game are still available to buy online via ulsterrugby.com/tickets and will also be available to purchase on the gate.

The match will not be shown live, however highlights will be shown on BBC Final Score on Saturday and will be available on the BBC Sport NI website.


15. Billy Dardis
14. Darragh Fanning
13. Ben Te’o
12. Noel Reid
11. Adam Byrne
10. Cathal Marsh
9. Luke McGrath
1. Peter Dooley
2. James Tracy
3. Jamie Hagan
4. Tadhg Beirne
5. Tom Denton
6. Dominic Ryan CAPTAIN
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Tony Ryan
Replacements TBC