Bent to make 100th Leinster Rugby appearance against Edinburgh
February 8, 2018 / Conor Sharkey
Michael Bent will win his 100th Leinster Rugby cap when the province face Edinburgh Rugby at Myreside on Friday evening in the Guinness PRO14 (KO 7.35pm, live TG4 & BBC Alba).
Bent made his debut in a 37-7 home win over Zebre at the RDS Arena on 1st December 2012 and has gone on to represent Leinster 22 times in Europe and 77 times in the PRO12/PRO14.
Speaking of Bent’s 100-cap milestone this week, scrum coach John Fogarty said:
“One of the qualities that Michael has – he’s a quiet character – but he goes to work. He has worked on his game, he’s worked on his scrum, and he’s improved hugely. He’s very important for us.
“We’ve seen him over the years play both sides of the scrum, so he’s shown himself to be versatile. He’s improved his game, and he’s adapted to different coaches that have come in.
“Credit to Michael. I’m delighted for him and his family that he’s reached 100 caps.”
Bent will start at tighthead prop on Friday, with Peter Dooley the starting loosehead.
Richardt Strauss completes the front row and will captain Leinster Rugby in tomorrow night’s game.
Will Connors will make his senior Leinster Rugby debut in the PRO14 contest, starting at openside flanker. He is joined by Josh Murphy, who made his senior debut back in November, and Max Deegan, to complete a youthful back row trio.
The second-row pairing of Ross Molony and Scott Fardy completes the Leinster pack.
Rory O’Loughlin, at outside centre, and Noel Reid, at inside centre, form Leinster’s midfield partnership for the game.
Ross Byrne and Jamison Gibson-Park will make up Leinster’s half-back pairing on Friday evening.
Dave Kearney will start at full-back for Leinster for the first time since February 2015, with Barry Daly on the left wing.
Fergus McFadden and Luke McGrath have both been released from Ireland camp for the Edinburgh match. McFadden will start on the right wing and McGrath has been named among the replacements.
On the bench, Ciarán Frawley could make his senior debut should he be called upon. Frawley featured for Leinster ‘A’ in all six of their British & Irish Cup pool games this season, playing at out-half, inside centre and full-back, helping the ‘A’ team, coached by Noel McNamara, to top their pool.
Adam Byrne, named among the replacements, could make his return from injury. Byrne last featured for Leinster in the PRO14 defeat away to Glasgow Warriors on 3rd November.
Leinster Rugby returns to the RDS Arena next Saturday, 17th February, to face Scarlets in a crucial Conference B clash (KO 3.15pm). Join the roar and get your tickets now.
Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets)
15. Dave Kearney (118)
14. Fergus McFadden (164)
13. Rory O’Loughlin (33)
12. Noel Reid (93)
11. Barry Daly (18)
10. Ross Byrne (41)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (43)
1. Peter Dooley (42)
2. Richardt Strauss (151) CAPTAIN
3. Michael Bent (99)
4. Ross Molony (55)
5. Scott Fardy (13)
6. Josh Murphy (3)
7. Will Connors (0)
8. Max Deegan (11)
16. Bryan Byrne (22)
17. Ed Byrne (17)
18. Óisín Heffernan (2)
19. Mick Kearney (29)
20. Peadar Timmins (8)
21. Luke McGrath (88)
22. Ciarán Frawley (0)
23. Adam Byrne (31)