BE PART OF THE TEAM

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 14 April 2021
Advertisement

Ben O'Donnell set for long-awaited Connacht debut, while O'Reilly and Smith make Leinster bows

Leinster host Connacht at the RDS tomorrow evening.

O'Donnell: Connacht fans will be hoping to get a glimpse of their new signing.
O'Donnell: Connacht fans will be hoping to get a glimpse of their new signing.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Updated 13.48

AUSTRALIAN SEVENS STAR Ben O’Donnell is set to make his much-anticipated Connacht debut against Leinster at the RDS tomorrow evening [7.35pm, eir Sport].

O’Donnell, who was nominated for World Sevens Player of the Year in 2018, signed for the western province in July but has been rehabbing a serious knee injury since his arrival at the Sportsground.

The 25-year-old is held in reserve in the replacements by head coach Andy Friend, who makes a total of five changes to the side beaten by Ulster last weekend.

Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Gavin Thornbury, Sean Masterson, Alex Wootton and Peter Sullivan all start as Connacht bid to end their run of three straight defeats in all competitions.

Meanwhile, Academy duo Max O’Reilly and Andrew Smith have both been handed their senior debuts by Leo Cullen and team up with the experienced Dave Kearney in an exciting Leinster back three.

Luke McGrath captains the side despite the return of Johnny Sexton alongside him in the half-backs. Ciaran Frawley had initially been due to start ahead of Sexton at out-half before suffering an injury, and McGrath, who led the side in training during the week, remains as captain.

Jack Conan and Ed Byrne could make their returns from injury with both named among the replacements.

Leinster

15. Max O’Reilly
14. Andrew Smith
13. Jimmy O’Brien
12. Rory O’Loughlin
11. Dave Kearney
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Luke McGrath (capt)

1. Peter Dooley
2. James Tracy
3. Michael Bent
4. Ross Molony
5. Devin Toner
6. Ryan Baird
7. Scott Penny
8. Dan Leavy

Replacements:

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

16. Seán Cronin
17. Ed Byrne
18. Tom Clarkson
19. Josh Murphy
20. Jack Conan
21. Hugh O’Sullivan
22. Liam Turner
23. Will Connors

Connacht

15. John Porch
14. Peter Sullivan
13. Sammy Arnold
12. Tom Daly
11. Alex Wootton
10. Jack Carty
9. Caolin Blade

1. Denis Buckley
2. Shane Delahunt
3. Dominic Robertson-McCoy
4. Gavin Thornbury
5. Quinn Roux (capt)
6. Eoghan Masterson
7. Conor Oliver
8. Sean Masterson

Replacements:

16. Jonny Murphy
17. Matthew Burke
18. Conor Kenny
19. Ultan Dillane
20. Cian Prendergast
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Diarmuid Kilgallen
23. Ben O’Donnell

Subscribe to The42 Rugby Weekly podcast here:

About the author:

Niall Kelly

Read next:

COMMENTS (23)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel