The Leinster team to face the Ospreys in the Liberty Stadium in Friday night’s opening game of the RaboDirect PRO 12 campaign (KO: 7.05pm, LIVE BBC Wales) has been named…

Kevin McLaughlin makes his 50th Leinster appearance and starts in a back-row which includes Dominic Ryan and Rhys Ruddock who leads the side.

There are competitive debuts for the half-back pairing of John Cooney and Mat Berquist while second row Damian Browne also comes in for his first start. Browne locks down with Ireland international Devin Toner with Heinke van der Merwe named in the front row alongside Richardt Strauss and Jamie Hagan.

Luke Fitzgerald partners Eoin O’Malley at centre with David Kearney, Fionn Carr and Isa Nacewa forming the back three.

There are six recent Leinster Academy graduates on the replacements bench, amongst them Cillian Willis who re-joined the province this summer having made the last of his 12 appearances in the 2007/08 season.


15: Richard Fussell
14: Kristian Phillips
13: Andrew Bishop
12: Ashley Beck
11: Hanno Dirksen
10: Dan Biggar
9: Rhys Webb

1: Duncan Jones
2: Mefin Davies
3: Cai Griffiths
4: Ian Gough
5: Ian Evans
6: Tom Smith
7: Justin Tipuric CAPTAIN
8: Jonathan Thomas


16: Matthew Dwyer
17: Ken Dowding
18: Joe Rees
19: James King
20: Morgan Allen
21: Tom Isaacs
22: Matthew Morgan
23: Sonny Parker


15: Isa Nacewa
14: Fionn Carr
13: Eoin O’Malley
12: Luke Fitzgerald
11: David Kearney
10: Mat Berquist
9: John Cooney

1: Heinke van der Merwe
2: Richardt Strauss
3: Jamie Hagan
4: Damian Browne
5: Devin Toner
6: Kevin McLaughlin
7: Dominic Ryan
8: Rhys Ruddock CAPTAIN


16: Aaron Dundon
17: Jack McGrath
18: Jack O’Connell
19: Mark Flanagan
20: Leo Auva’a
21: Cillian Willis
22: Ian Madigan
23: Brendan Macken

REFEREE: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU), ASSISTANT REFEREES: Gwyn Morris, Jon Mason (both WRU), TMO: Neill Ballard (WRU)