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Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 7°C
Ramsey Cardy Baird made his senior debut against Ulster last season.
# Pre-Season
Baird paired with Fardy as Cullen names Leinster team for Canada friendly
The Pro14 champions are in Ontario for Saturday’s pre-season game.

RYAN BAIRD WILL get a big opportunity to stake his claim for early-season selection when the Ireland U20 second row starts for Leinster in Saturday’s friendly against Canada in Hamilton.

Baird, who made his senior debut against Ulster towards the end of last season, will partner captain Scott Fardy in the second row as Leo Cullen’s side play their second game of pre-season.

The Pro14 champions will face Canada, who are preparing for the World Cup, at Tim Hortons Field at 8pm Irish time, with Cullen making wholesale changes from last weekend’s win over Coventry at Donnybrook. 

Senior players Fardy and Michael Bent return for their first action of the season, while the likes of Ciarán Frawley, Hugh O’Sullivan and Caelan Doris start after sitting out last weekend. 

In the backs, Jimmy O’Brien has been named at fullback with Adam Byrne continuing on the right wing and Barry Daly on the left.

Conor O’Brien and Rory O’Loughlin will once again line up in the centre together, with Frawley and O’Sullivan in the nine and 10 jerseys. 

In the pack, twins Ed and Bryan Byrne line up at loosehead and hooker, while Bent adds huge experience at tighthead, and Baird and Fardy are in the engine room. 

Adam Byrne scores a try James Crombie / INPHO Adam Byrne continues on the wing for Leinster. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

With Doris back at number eight, Max Deegan starts at blindside and Connors continues at openside after impressing against Coventry.

Cullen has named an extended matchday squad with the likes of Rónan Kelleher, James Tracy, Josh Murphy and Harry Byrne among those hoping for further game-time off the bench.  

Canada coach Kingsley Jones has included former Ulster out-half Peter Nelson and Cork native Shane O’Leary in his squad, while Glasgow Warriors winger DTH van der Merwe is a familiar opponent for Leinster.

Leinster: 

15. Jimmy O’Brien 
14. Adam Byrne  
13. Rory O’Loughlin 
12. Conor O’Brien 
11. Barry Daly  
10. Ciarán Frawley 
9. Hugh O’Sullivan 

1. Ed Byrne
2. Bryan Byrne 
3. Michael Bent 
4. Ryan Baird 
5. Scott Fardy (captain)
6. Max Deegan 
7. Will Connors 
8. Caelan Doris.

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Replacements from:

16. Rónan Kelleher 
17. James Tracy
18. Peter Dooley 
19. Vakh Abdaladze
20. Ross Molony
21. Josh Murphy 
22. Martin Moloney
23. Paddy Patterson
24. Harry Byrne
25. Joe Tomane
26. Cian Kelleher
27. Hugo Keenan.

Murray joins Bernard and Gavan with all the latest from training camp in Portugal, including a concerning update on Joey Carbery’s fitness. Plus, BBC Scotland’s Tom English explains why the Scots have a negative perception of Joe Schmidt’s Ireland team.


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