Wednesday 24 May 2017

Leinster men primed to consolidate top spot

Leinster A's Gavin Thornbury faces up to four months out after surgery on a torn pectoral
muscle. Photo: Sportsfile
Leinster A's Gavin Thornbury faces up to four months out after surgery on a torn pectoral muscle. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Leinster 'A' continue to dominate Pool One of the British & Irish Cup and they should have little trouble in maintaining their four-point lead at the top when they travel to take on Ealing Trailfinders this afternoon (3.0).

A 45-13 win over the same opposition last week has Leinster in control and they have made four changes to their starting XV.

In the backline, Adam Byrne will be eager to continue his good form this season and he comes on to the wing to replace Darragh Fanning, while Ireland Sevens star Tom Daly starts at inside centre. Cian Kelleher and Mick McGrath will pose a serious threat to Ealing as they make up a potent back three for the visitors.

Collie O'Shea impressed in Donnybrook last week and scored two tries. He is again named at outside-centre.

Up front, Oisin Heffernan is named at tighthead prop in place of Michael Bent who had been due to start on the bench for the senior side before Cian Healy's ban was uplifted. Peter Dooley and Bryan Byrne are retained in the front-row.

Ross Molony comes in to the second-row in place of the injured Gavin Thornbury, who faces up to four months out after surgery on a torn pectoral muscle.

Leinster have met the winless English Championship outfit three times before and have yet to lose against them. Don't expect that run to end today as Leinster look to take another big step towards the knockout stages.

Verdict: Leinster 'A'

Leinster 'A' - C Kelleher; A Byrne, C O'Shea, T Daly, M McGrath, C Marsh, C Rock; P Dooley, B Byrne, O Heffernan; T Beirne, R Molony; J Murphy, D Leavy, P Timmins (capt). Reps: A Dundon, J Loughman, D O'Connor, T Ryan, M D'Arcy, S Crosbie, I Fitzpatrick.

Irish Independent

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