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Leinster Rugby vs Dragons
Guinness Pro 14, Round 5
RDS Arena, Dublin
Friday, 1st November 2019, 19:35

TV: Live on Eir Sports

Well that was some game!

For those lucky enough to have missed last week's game away to Zebre, it was one for the purists/masochists. If fans were getting updates on their phone they may well have thought their apps had broken. Leinster went 3-0 up and well...that was that! Normally with that type of scoreline you would expect some horrendous weather but it really wasn't that bad. But the rugby was! The only positive for Leo Cullen was the result.

When the Dragons went to Zebre in their second match of the season they actually scored 49 points more than Leinster. They also beat Glasgow at home last weekend and lie fourth in the Conference B table. Their director of rugby Dean Ryan is the latest to take on what's been one of the most difficult jobs in rugby. He's named a team showing just two changes from last week. Connor Edwards comes in at centre and Harri Keddie returns from injury to take his place at blindside flanker.

For Leinster the injuries have been mounting with Fergus McFadden and Hugo Keenan the latest to be added to the list. So Leo Cullen has named a team with several changes from last week. There's a whole new back three with Jimmy O'Brien at full back and Dave Kearney and James Lowe on the wings. Conor O'Brien finally makes his first start of the season at inside centre with Rory O'Loughlin continuing alongside him. Harry Byrne makes his first senior Leinster start at out-half with Jamison Gibson-Park beside him.

In the pack Peter Dooley and Michael Bent start again at prop with Ronan Kelleher coming in at hooker. Behind them is Devin Toner, who captains the team for the second time, along with Ryan Baird who starts for the first time. In the back row Max Deegan moves to six alongside Scott Penny and Caelan Doris who comes in to start at number eight. On the bench, there is a potential debut for prop Jack Aungier.

Leinster should make short work of them.

Team Lineups

Leinster Rugby
Teams Jimmy O'Brien 15 Jordan Williams
Dave Kearney 14 Owen Jenkins
Rory O'Loughlin 13 Adam Warren
Conor O'Brien 12 Connor Edwards
James Lowe 11 Ashton Hewitt
Harry Byrne 10 Sam Davies
Jamison Gibson-Park 9 Rhodri Williams (C)

Peter Dooley 1 Brok Harris
Ronan Kelleher 2 Richard Hibbard
Michael Bent 3 Leon Brown
Devin Toner (C)
4 Joe Davies
Ryan Baird 5 Matthew Screech
Max Deegan 6 Harri Keddie
Scott Penny 7 Ollie Griffiths
Caelan Doris 8 Taine Basham

Replacements James Tracy 16 Ellis Shipp
Michael Milne 17 Josh Reynolds
Jack Aungier 18 Lloyd Fairbrother
Ross Molony 19 Max Williams
Will Connors 20 Huw Taylor
Hugh O'Sullivan 21 Luke Baldwin
Ciaran Frawley 22 Arwel Robson
Cian Kelleher 23 Tyler Morgan

Not Considered
due to Injury
Dan Leavy,
Barry Daly,
Ed Byrne,
Jack Conan,
Sean Cronin,
Fergus McFadden,
Hugo Keenan

Officials Referee:Andrea Piardi (FIR) ,
Assistant referees: Andrew Brace (IRFU), Matteo Liperini (FIR),
TMO: Alan Falzone (FIR)

by Jim O'Connor, © 2019-10-31