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Academy pair set to make Leinster debuts as URC South Africa tour begins

Leo Cullen’s side will face Cell C Sharks on Saturday.

Brian Deeny arriving at Leinster training.
Brian Deeny arriving at Leinster training.
Image: Ben Brady/INPHO

TWO ACADEMY PLAYERS are set to make their debuts for Leinster this weekend as the province begins its two-game URC tour of South Africa.

Leo Cullen’s side will take on Cell C Sharks in Durban on Saturday [Kick-off, 5.15pm Irish time -- TG4, Premier Sports and URC TV], where Brian Deeny and John McKee are set to make their debuts.

Deeny, who has played for Wexford Wanderers and Clontarf, has also featured for the Irish U20 side and has been selected to start in the second row.

Belfast native McKee, who has been named on the bench, captained Campbell College to an Ulster Schools Cup in 2018 before moving to UCD. He has also captained Ireland at underage level and currently plays with Old Belvedere.

Rhys Ruddock captains the side from the back row, where he will be joined by Scott Penny and Max Deegan.

Andrew Porter, Rónan Kelleher and Thomas Clarkson make up the front row while Deeny is joined by Jack Dunne in the second row.

Elsewhere, Chris Cosgrave has been selected at full-back, making his first start for the province.

Tommy O’Brien has been named to start on the right wing with Rory O’Loughlin on the left.

Ciarán Frawley and Jamie Osborne pair up in midfield while Nick McCarthy is alongside Harry Byrne in the half-backs, making his first appearance since picking up an injury in March.

Leinster Rugby team v Cell C Sharks

15. Chris Cosgrave 
14. Tommy O’Brien 
13. Jamie Osborne 
12. Ciarán Frawley 
11. Rory O’Loughlin 
10. Harry Byrne 
9. Nick McCarthy 

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1. Andrew Porter 
2. Rónan Kelleher 
3. Thomas Clarkson 
4. Brian Deeny 
5. Jack Dunne 
6. Rhys Ruddock 
7. Scott Penny 
8. Max Deegan 

Replacements

16. John McKee 
17. Peter Dooley 
18. Michael Ala’alatoa 
19. Josh Murphy 
20. Alex Soroka 
21. Cormac Foley 
22. David Hawkshaw 
23. Martin Moloney 

Referee: ​Nika Amashukeli (GRU)

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