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Bent set for 100th appearance as Leinster name one debutant in XV to face Edinburgh

Youngster Will Connors has been handed a chance to impress at openside flanker.

Michael Bent has been named in the Leinster team to face Edinburgh.
Michael Bent has been named in the Leinster team to face Edinburgh.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

MICHAEL BENT IS set for a landmark day as Leinster take on Edinburgh at Myreside on Friday evening in the Guinness PRO14.

Bent, who first appeared in a home game against Zebre in 2012, has since played 22 times for the province in Europe and 77 times in the PRO12/PRO14.

“One of the qualities that Michael has — he’s a quiet character — but he goes to work,” scrum coach John Fogarty said. “He has worked on his game, he’s worked on his scrum, and he’s improved hugely. He’s very important for us.

“We’ve seen him over the years play both sides of the scrum, so he’s shown himself to be versatile. He’s improved his game, and he’s adapted to different coaches that have come in.

“Credit to Michael. I’m delighted for him and his family that he’s reached 100 caps.”

Meanwhile, Will Connors will make his senior Leinster debut at openside flanker, with Josh Murphy and Max Deegan completing a youthful back row.

Elsewhere, the side has a more experienced look, with Fergus McFadden and Luke McGrath released from Ireland camp for the game, though Ciarán Frawley — an option at out-half, inside centre and full-back — could make his debut off the bench.

Adam Byrne, who has been out injured since the start of November, is in line to make his return from the bench.

Leinster Rugby 

15. Dave Kearney
14. Fergus McFadden
13. Rory O’Loughlin
12. Noel Reid
11. Barry Daly
10. Ross Byrne
9. Jamison Gibson-Park

1. Peter Dooley
2. Richardt Strauss (captain)
3. Michael Bent
4. Ross Molony
5. Scott Fardy
6. Josh Murphy
7. Will Connors
8. Max Deegan

Replacements

16. Bryan Byrne
17. Ed Byrne
18. Óisín Heffernan
19. Mick Kearney
20. Peadar Timmins
21. Luke McGrath
22. Ciarán Frawley
23. Adam Byrne

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Ulster academy graduate O’Connor to captain province against Southern Kings>

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Paul Fennessy

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