SCOTT FARDY WILL captain Leinster in tomorrow evening’s pre-season friendly against Newcastle at Donnybrook [KO 7pm], as Ciarán Frawley starts in the number 10 shirt.
Academy player Frawley showed his promise in the Pro14 for Leinster last season and will hope for further exposure in the upcoming campaign, particularly with Joey Carbery having left.
Noel Reid, predominantly a centre during his Leinster career so far, started last weekend’s friendly win against Montauban at out-half but now 20-year-old Frawley gets an opportunity to show his ability.
The introduction of the Skerries man and Fardy are among 10 changes made by head coach Leo Cullen for the clash with Newcastle, with Fardy joined in the second row by Mick Kearney.
The highly-promising Caelan Doris comes in at number eight, with Will Connors introduced at openside and Josh Murphy retained on the blindside. Ed Byrne and James Tracy start in the front row alongside Michael Bent.
Jamison Gibson-Park is at scrum-half, the centre partnership of new signing Joe Tomane and Rory O’Loughlin continues, while Dave Kearney starts at fullback, Barry Daly is retained on the left wing and academy wing Hugo Keenan will wear the number 14 shirt.
Cullen has named a bench of 11 players for what is Leinster’s final pre-season game ahead of the start of their Pro14 season away to Cardiff Blues on Friday 31 August.
Leinster (v Newcastle):
15. Dave Kearney
14. Hugo Keenan
13. Rory O’Loughlin
12. Joe Tomane
11. Barry Daly
10. Ciarán Frawley
9. Jamison Gibson-Park
1. Ed Byrne
2. James Tracy
3. Michael Bent
4. Scott Fardy (captain)
5. Mick Kearney
6. Josh Murphy
7. Will Connors
8. Caelan Doris
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