Friday, October 08, 2021

The Leinster Rugby team, proudly sponsored by Bank of Ireland, to face Zebre Parma in Round 3 of the United Rugby Championship tomorrow in the RDS Arena has been announced by Head Coach Leo Cullen (KO 1.00pm, live on RTÉ Sport, Premier Sport and URC TV).

The return of Adam Byrne after a long term injury is the headline news in the team but from a Carlow point of view, it’s the inclusion of his namesake Ed that catches the eye. Byrne and Seán Cronin come into the pack this week but it’s a third start in-a-row for new signing Michael Ala’alatoa who will experience the RDS Arena for the first time.

Ed Byrne is back in the Leinster starting line up for the game against Zebre Parma
Photo: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Luke McGrath will captain the side for the first time this season, and there are a number of changes to the XV that beat Dragons away from home last week.

There is a new back three this weekend. Jimmy O’Brien makes his first appearance of the season at full back, with Adam Byrne on the right wing and Jordan Larmour back from injury on the left.

Byrne is also back from a number of significant injuries and it is his first involvement with Leinster since December 2019 when he started against Munster.

It’s a new centre combination this week also with Skerries man Ciarán Frawley in the number 12 jersey and Naas RFC’s Jamie Osborne outside him.

McGrath is partnered by Harry Byrne who returns from a minor foot injury to start his first game of the season.

Devin Toner is involved in a match day 23 for the first time this campaign and starts in the second row alongside Ryan Baird.

In the back row, Dan Leavy starts his first game of the season, as does Scott Penny, with Rhys Ruddock retained from the starting XV last week but moving from blindside flanker to No 8 for tomorrow’s game.

On the bench, Rónan Kelleher is back involved with Leinster for the first time this season having toured with the British and Irish Lions to South Africa during the summer.

Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):

15. Jimmy O’Brien (35)
14. Adam Byrne (57)
13. Jamie Osborne (7)
12. Ciarán Frawley (37)
11. Jordan Larmour (62)
10. Harry Byrne (24)
9. Luke McGrath (152) CAPTAIN
1. Ed Byrne (72)
2. Seán Cronin (195)
3. Michael Ala’alatoa (2)
4. Devin Toner (266)
5. Ryan Baird (29)
6. Dan Leavy (73)
7. Scott Penny (29)
8. Rhys Ruddock (190)

16. Rónan Kelleher (25)
17. Peter Dooley (93)
18. Cian Healy (233)
19. Ross Molony (118)
20. Max Deegan (67)
21. Nick McCarthy (37)
22. Johnny Sexton (174)
23. Rob Russell (1)

Referee: Sam Grove-White (SRU)

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