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Dublin: 1 °C Thursday 17 January, 2019

Double-winners Leinster to face French and English teams in pre-season fixtures

Leo Cullen’s side will have home and away games in August.

LEINSTER WILL FINALISE their preparations for the new season with back-to-back friendly games against US Montauban and Newcastle Falcons in August, the province have confirmed.

Ross Byrne and Jack Walker with Nick Auterac Ross Byrne in action against Bath at Donnybrook last summer. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

The Champions Cup and Guinness Pro14 winners will travel to France to face Pro D2 outfit US Montauban on Friday 10 August, before welcoming Newcastle to Donnybrook a week later for their first home fixture of the season.

Leo Cullen’s side will then have a week’s break before getting their league title defence underway on the weekend of 31 August/1 September, with Pro14 due to announce the 2018/19 fixtures within the next month.

The pre-season trip to the Stade Sapiac will afford Cullen and Stuart Lancaster the opportunity to introduce some of the squad’s younger players to senior rugby, as they did last summer with the likes of Jordan Larmour, James Ryan, Vakh Abdaladze and Josh Murphy.

US Montauban finished second at the end of the regular Pro D2 league season last year, but lost to Grenoble in the semi-finals, while Dean Richards’ Falcons will provide the opposition at Donnybrook on Friday 17 August.

Ticket details and a confirmed kick-off time will be announced by Leinster closer to the time.

While Leinster are losing the services of Isa Nacewa, Joey Carbery and Jordi Murphy for the defence of their double, the province yesterday confirmed the capture of Wallaby back Joe Tomane from Montpellier with the potential for further signings in the coming weeks.

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