Cullen names squad ahead of Harlequins tie
September 9, 2021 / Marcus Ó Buachalla
Leinster Rugby head coach Leo Cullen has named his match day squad ahead of tomorrow’s Bank of Ireland Pre-Season fixture against Harlequins in Aviva Stadium (KO 7pm).
The game is not being televised but tickets are still on sale HERE.
As Cullen alluded to when discussing the game with the media earlier in the week, there is a mixture of youth and experience in the match day with Johnny Sexton captaining a squad that includes eight Academy players, with four of those yet to play for the senior team.
There is also a welcome return from injury for Conor O’Brien and Max Deegan.
Chris Cosgrave, in his first year in the Leinster Academy, gets the number 15 jersey for tomorrow’s game with the UCD man also joined by another year one player in Rob Russell in the back three. Russell is a third year Business and Management student in Trinity and was an unused replacement in the game against Glasgow Warriors in the PRO14 last season. Completing the trio is James Lowe who is back from injury and will take his place on the left wing.
In the centre Conor O’Brien will partner Academy back Jamie Osborne for the first time, with the Westmeath man back from injury and making his first appearance in a Leinster shirt since February 2020.
Luke McGrath is selected at scrum half with Sexton captaining the side outside him.
The front row sees Peter Dooley and Dan Sheehan joined by new arrival Michael Ala’alatoa for his first taste of Leinster Rugby action. The Samoan international arrived from the Crusaders during the summer.
Devin Toner is joined by Wexford’s Brian Deeny in the second row. This will be Deeny’s first taste of senior action with Leinster Rugby as he is also back from a long-standing injury.
Finally in the back row, Cullen has gone with the experienced trio of Rhys Ruddock, Scott Penny and Max Deegan although like O’Brien and Deeny before, it is noteworthy for the return of Deegan from a long-term knee injury. Deegan last played against Dragons almost a year ago.
Amongst the replacements there is again a mixture of Senior and Academy experience, with Niall Comerford looking to get his first taste of Leinster Rugby action in the Aviva tomorrow evening.
Tickets are still on sale HERE.
Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):
15. Chris Cosgrave (0)
14. Rob Russell (0)
13. Jamie Osborne (6)
12. Conor O’Brien (23)
11. James Lowe (52)
10. Johnny Sexton (173) CAPTAIN
9. Luke McGrath (151)
1. Peter Dooley (93)
2. Dan Sheehan (13)
3. Michael Ala’alatoa (0)
4. Devin Toner (266)
5. Brian Deeny (0)
6. Rhys Ruddock (188)
7. Scott Penny (29)
8. Max Deegan (65)
Cian Healy (231), Seán Cronin (195), James Tracy (129), Vakh Abdaladze (12), Ross Molony (116), Ryan Baird (27), Martin Moloney (1), Cormac Foley (1), Ross Byrne (104), David Hawkshaw (8), Liam Turner (6), Niall Comerford (0)