Wednesday 28 June 2017

Moore and Boss start as Leinster seek Dragons revenge

Moore plays his first game since April’s Champions Cup loss to Toulon
Moore plays his first game since April’s Champions Cup loss to Toulon

Michael Verney

Leinster's bid to reverse last season's two Guinness Pro12 defeats to the Newport Gwent Dragons has been boosted by the returns of Marty Moore and Isaac Boss for today's clash at the RDS.

Moore plays his first game since April's Champions Cup loss to Toulon while Boss starts at scrum-half having come off the bench against both Edinburgh and Cardiff.

Leo Cullen names an otherwise unchanged 15 and flanker Dominic Ryan is sure that complacency will not be an issue with last year's reversals still fresh in the memory.

"You have more respect for them and you also have a bit more venom in that we owe them one from last year," Ryan said.

"Particularly the home game hurt quite a bit. We pride ourselves on winning in the RDS and we lost to the Dragons.

"At the time they were quite a bit below us in the table. Come the end that's the difference between getting into the top four or not."

Ryan places particular emphasis on discipline and keeping the penalty count to a minimum after conceding "needless" points in their opening fixtures.

Isa Nacewa captains the side once again while the vastly experienced lock Mike McCarthy earns his 54th Leinster cap, his 294th cap in professional club rugby.

Encouragingly, James Tracy and Rhys Ruddock are included in a match-day squad for the first time this season with Ruddock striving to make a first Leinster appearance in seven months.

The Dragons won 16-14 on their last visit to the RDS before adding a 25-22 home victory in an unlikely double, and skipper Rynard Landman believes those good memories will boost their chances this afternoon.

"They've got depth and a big budget, but last season gives us confidence. They won't underestimate us this time," he noted

"But I think that was the same when they came to Rodney Parade with an even better side than in Dublin and we won again.

"We know it will be a tough game and they will have a strong side even though they are affected by World Cup call-ups."

Carl Meyer starts at full-back while Hugh Gustafson, Nick Crosswell, James Thomas and James Benjamin all come into the pack for Lyn Jones' side.

Leinster - I Nacewa; F McFadden, B Te'o, N Reid, G Ringrose, C Marsh, I Boss; M Bent, A Dundon, M Moore, R Molony, M McCarthy, D Ryan, J van der Flier, J Conan. Reps: J Tracy, P Dooley, J Hagan, R Ruddock, D Leavy, L McGrath, R Byrne, C Kelleher.

NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS - C Meyer; A Hewitt, R Wardle, A Warren, T Prydie; J Tovey, S Pretorius; B Stankovich, H Gustafson, B Harris, N Crosswell, R Landman, J Thomas, J Benjamin, E Jackson. Reps: E Dee, P Price, S Knight, M Screech, N Cudd, L Jones, A O'Brien, A Brew.

REF - I Davies (Wal)

Leinster v Dragons, Live, TG4, 2.30

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