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'A lot of guys have a point to prove' - Leinster name formidable team as internationals return to face Cheetahs

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Will Connors, left, and Max Deegan have been named to start for Leinster against the Cheetahs. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Will Connors, left, and Max Deegan have been named to start for Leinster against the Cheetahs. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Will Connors, left, and Max Deegan have been named to start for Leinster against the Cheetahs. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Leinster's Ireland brigade will have "a point to prove" against Cheetahs in the PRO14 League at The RDS tomorrow (14.30).

Ronan Kelleher, Max Deegan, Luke McGrath, Dave Kearney and Will Connors have all been released and selected to start in order to impress Leinster head coach Leo Cullen and, ultimately, Ireland boss Andy Farrell.

"It has been good having the five guys back this week. They've all added in their different ways," said Leo Cullen, at MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Ireland in Rathgar this afternoon.

"Everyone is keen to play again. We've had a decent break. It was a long block through Christmas, those 13 games. Everybody is back and ready to go again for this short block of three games.

"A lot of guys have a point to prove now. It is important everyone understands the challenge we face as a team."

Cullen is wary of the Cheetahs, fresh from completing the double over compatriots Southern Kings.

"They've played a couple of games while we've been off. They are that bit more battle-hardened, so to speak."

LEINSTER: Kearney; F McFadden, J O'Brien, J TOMANE, D Kearney; C Frawley, L McGrath; P Dooley, R Kelleher, M Bent, R Molony, S Fardy (capt), R Ruddock, W Connors, M Deegan.

Replacements: S Cronin, M Milne, R Salanoa, R Baird, S Penny; J Gibson-Park, H Byrne, C Kelleher.

CHEETAHS: R Smith; C Bloometjies, W Small-Smith, B van Rensburg, R Maxwane; T Schoeman, R Pienaar (capt); C Marais, J Dweba, J Coetzee, W Steenkamp, JP du Preez, C Massyn, J Pokomela, J Wiese.

Replacements: W Arnoldi, B Venter, L de Bruin, A Davis, G Olivier; T Meyer, L Fouche, C Smit.

Referee: B Whitehouse.

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