The Leinster team to face the Newport Gwent Dragons in Friday night’s RaboDirect PRO12 clash in Rodney Parade (KO: 7pm) has been named…

With a number of players available for selection this week, the Leinster management have made several changes to the starting line up ahead of the trip to Newport.

Twenty-two-year-old Academy prop Jack O’Connell will make his seventh Leinster appearance – and his first start – in a front row which includes Balbriggan’s Jamie Hagan and Sean Cronin who is one of five Ireland internationals to return to the panel this week.

O’Connell has featured in the province’s last three wins against Cardiff Blues, Benetton Treviso and the Scarlets as a replacement.

Fergus McFadden partners the fit again Brendan Macken at centre, with full-back Luke Fitzgerald included in a pacey looking back three alongside Fionn Carr and David Kearney. Meanwhile, Ian Madigan – who makes his 23rd appearance of the season – links up with Eoin Reddan at half back.

Shane Jennings leads the team and starts in a re-jigged back row which includes Dominic Ryan and sees Rhys Ruddock switch to number eight. Mark Flanagan, fresh from his seasonal debut last weekend, locks down alongside his cousin Devin Toner.

After featuring prominently in the recent victories, Jack McGrath takes his place amongst a replacements bench which includes the likes of Leo Cullen and Eoin O’Malley.

There will be live updates via the Leinster Rugby Twitter account on Friday – @leinsterrugby.

DRAGONS: Dan Evans, Adam Hughes, Pat Leach, Jack Dixon, Hallam Amos, Steffan Jones, Jonathan Evans; Ieuan Jones, Nic Cudd, Lewis Evans CAPTAIN, Jevon Groves, Ian Nimmo, Nathan Buck, Sam Parry, Phil Price

REPLACEMENTS: Hugh Gustafson, Aaron Coundley, Dan Way, Rob Sidoli, Adam Jones, Wayne Evans, Tom Prydie, Will Harries


15: Luke Fitzgerald
14: Dave Kearney
13: Brendan Macken
12: Fergus McFadden
11: Fionn Carr
10: Ian Madigan
9: Eoin Reddan

1: Jack O’Connell
2: Sean Cronin
3: Jamie Hagan
4: Mark Flanagan
5: Devin Toner
6: Dominic Ryan
7: Shane Jennings CAPTAIN
8: Rhys Ruddock


16: Aaron Dundon
17: Jack McGrath
18: Michael Bent
19: Leo Cullen
20: Jordi Murphy
21: John Cooney
22: Andrew Goodman
23: Eoin O’Malley

REFEREE: David Wilkinson (IRFU), ASSISTANT REFEREES: Leighton Hodges, Sean Brickell (both WRU)