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Head Coach Leo Cullen (file pic). Tom Maher/INPHO
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5 changes to Leinster team to face Vodacom Bulls

Ed Byrne captains the side while hooker Tadgh McElroy makes his first start

THE LEINSTER team to face Vodacom Bulls on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa sees five changes from the side that defeated Emirates Lions.

The Round 18 encounter of the BKT United Rugby Championship kicks off at 3pm Irish time and is live on TG4, Premier Sports, and URC TV.

Ed Byrne captains the team while the backline remains unchanged from the win in Johannesburg, with Chris Cosgrave, Dave Kearney and Tommy O’Brien all starting.

Ben Brownlee links up with Liam Turner in the centre, while Sam Prendergast and Nick McCarthy form a half-back partnership again.

There are three changes in the front row – Tadgh McElroy starts at hooker for the first time, and he is joined by Byrne and Thomas Clarkson.

Alex Soroka has been handed a first start of the season alongside Brian Deeny in the front row while James Culhane will make his first start in the backrow alongside Will Connors and Max Deegan.

Debutants-in-waiting Liam Molony and Conor O’Tighearnaigh are named among the replacements, while Temi Lasisi could make his first appearance of the season.

Leinster Rugby:

  • 15. Chris Cosgrave
  • 14. Tommy O’Brien
  • 13. Liam Turner
  • 12. Ben Brownlee 
  • 11. Dave Kearney 
  • 10. Sam Prendergast
  • 9. Nick McCarthy
  • 1. Ed Byrne
  • 2. Tadgh McElroy 
  • 3. Thomas Clarkson
  • 4. Alex Soroka 
  • 5. Brian Deeny 
  • 6. James Culhane 
  • 7. Will Connors 
  • 8. Max Deegan 

Replacements:

  • 16. Lee Barron 
  • 17. Michael Milne
  • 18. Temi Lasisi
  • 19. Conor O’Tighearnaigh
  • 20. Liam Molony 
  • 21. Ben Murphy
  • 22. Charlie Tector
  • 23. Rob Russell 
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