Cullen Names Match Day 23 for Dragons
November 23, 2017 / Marcus Ó Buachalla
Leinster Rugby Head Coach Leo Cullen has announced his Leinster match day 23 to take on Dragons in the Guinness PRO14 tomorrow evening in the RDS Arena (Kick Off: 7.35pm – live on TG4).
Tickets for the game are still available here.
Cullen is able to recall a number of players from injury including captain Isa Nacewa as well as handing a first senior start to Josh Murphy. Cullen also welcomes back into the squad a number of players that had been involved with Ireland last weekend in the Guinness Series.
Leinster Academy player Jordan Larmour starts at full back with Fergus McFadden selected on the right wing having receovered from a hamstring injury. On the left wing Nacewa captains the side on his first Leinster start since the loss to the Cheetahs in September. It is also his 175th cap for Leinster since his debut in September 2008 against the Cardiff Blues. In that time he has scored 43 tries and a total of 658 points.
In the centre Noel Reid and Rory O’Loughlin are partnered together for the fourth time this season, while Jamison Gibson-Park and Ross Byrne are the half backs selected by Cullen.
In the pack Ed Byrne, Seán Cronin and Michael Bent start in the front row with Ross Molony and Scott Fardy behind them in the second.
In the back row there is a first start for Leinster Academy flanker Josh Murphy who made his debut against Glasgow Warriors off the bench. Murphy is joined by Jordi Murphy at openside who started for Ireland last weekend against Fiji and by Max Deegan who starts at No. 8.
On the bench, Conor O’Brien is in line to make his first senior appearance at the RDS Arena, while Cullen welcomes Andrew Porter and Jack Conan back from Ireland duties.
Should he be introduced Richardt Strauss will win his 150th cap for Leinster against the Dragons, while there is also a first involvement of the season for Ian Nagle who has returned from a pectoral muscle injury.
Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):
15. Jordan Larmour (6)
14. Fergus McFadden (156)
13. Rory O’Loughlin (29)
12. Noel Reid (88)
11. Isa Nacewa (174) CAPTAIN
10. Ross Byrne (33)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (37)
1. Ed Byrne (12)
2. Seán Cronin (137)
3. Michael Bent (95)
4. Ross Molony (52)
5. Scott Fardy (6)
6. Josh Murphy (1)
7. Jordi Murphy (93)
8. Max Deegan (7)
16. Richardt Strauss (149)
17. Peter Dooley (40)
18. Andrew Porter (15)
19. Ian Nagle (11)
20. Jack Conan (59)
21. Nick McCarthy (12)
22. Cathal Marsh (24)
23. Conor O’Brien (1)
Referee: Sam Grove-White (SRU – competition debut)