21-year-old Ryan Baird set to start for Leinster in big clash with Munster

The second row trained with Andy Farrell’s Ireland earlier this year.

21-YEAR-OLD second row Ryan Baird is set to be handed a start in Leinster’s Guinness Pro14 clash with Munster on Saturday at the Aviva Stadium [KO 7.35pm, eir Sport].

The talented lock made his breakthrough in the 2019/20 season before the sport was put on hold but is now in line to continue his rise with a starting spot in the highly-anticipated resumption of Irish rugby behind closed doors this weekend.

Baird trained with Andy Farrell’s Ireland squad during the Six Nations this year and now looks likely to be backed by Leinster coaches Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster to earn just his third start for the province with James Ryan missing due to injury.

ryan-baird Baird trained with Ireland earlier this year. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Leinster are set to name a strong side for the clash with Munster, with Johnny Sexton expected to captain the team and partner Luke McGrath in the halfbacks.

Ireland internationals Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose look likely to pair up in midfield, while a back three of James Lowe, Dave Kearney and Jordan Larmour could provide threats wider out.

Andrew Porter is set to get the starting role at tighthead prop in a front row also including Cian Healy and Ronan Kelleher, while Baird could partner Scott Fardy in the second row.

Leinster have an array of high-quality options to choose from in the back row but may opt for a combination of Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris, and Jack Conan. 

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Leinster and Munster are due to officially name their match day 23s tomorrow.

Possible Leinster XV:

15. Jordan Larmour
14. Dave Kearney
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. James Lowe
10. Johnny Sexton (captain)
9. Luke McGrath

1. Cian Healy
2. Ronan Kelleher
3. Andrew Porter
4. Ryan Baird
5. Scott Fardy
6. Caelan Doris
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jack Conan

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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