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Ireland international Hagan to make first Super Rugby start for the Rebels

The former Leinster and Connacht prop has made six appearances this season so far.

IRELAND INTERNATIONAL JAMIE Hagan will make his first Super Rugby start in the Melbourne Rebels’ meeting with the Blues at Eden Park on Saturday [KO 6.15am Irish time, Sky Sports 5].

Jamie Hagan with Kristian Dacey Hagan in action for Leinster earlier this season. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The 29-year-old prop has racked up six appearances for the Australian franchise off the bench this season, but a hamstring injury for Wallabies-capped Laurie Weeks means Hagan gets the nod at tighthead.

Hagan joined the Rebels from Leinster last year, having spent a third stint with his home province after two seasons in the English Premiership with London Irish.

The former Gormanston College student made his senior professional rugby debut for Leinster in 2009 during his first spell with the province, but moved to Connacht the following season in search of regular first-team rugby.

50 impressive appearances followed for Hagan in his two years in the west, before a return to Leinster in 2011.

The prop played 40 times for his home province over the next two seasons, but again moved away as he looked to be a first-choice player with London Irish. His final stint with Leinster saw Hagan return on loan from the Exiles, then sign a short-term contract at the start of the current season before making the move to Australia.

Jamie Hagan Hagan made his Ireland debut on the 2013 tour to North America. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Hagan has been capped once by Ireland at senior level, appearing off the bench in the 2013 Test victory over the USA. The prop has also played for Ireland at U20 and Wolfhounds levels.

Tony McGahan, formerly of Munster, is the head coach at the Rebels, who have won five of their eight Super Rugby games so far this season to lead the Australian conference.

Hagan, in the first season of a two-year deal, will hope to seize his starting opportunity against Tana Umaga’s Blues this weekend.

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Murray Kinsella

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