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Marsh, Dardis and Ryan in Leinster XV for pre-season clash with Ulster
Dominic Ryan captains Leo Cullen’s first XV of the 2015/16 campaign.

LEO CULLEN HAS handed Cathal Marsh Leinster’s 10 shirt for their opening pre-season clash against Ulster at Kingspan Stadium this evening (KO 7.30pm).

Cathal Marsh Dan Sheridan / INPHO Marsh starts in the 10 shirt for Leinster. Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

The St. Mary’s out-half played for the Ireland U20s in 2011 and 2012 but has found his competitive opportunities at the province limited to just a single substitute appearance in the Pro12 back in the 2012/13 season.

With Johnny Sexton and Ian Madigan unavailable due to international duties, 22-year-old Marsh is now presented with a chance to impress.

Leinster also have three exciting academy players in their starting XV in the shape of fullback Billy Dardis, left wing Adam Byrne and loosehead prop Peter Dooley.

Enniscorthy man Tony Ryan is named at number eight after joining the province on a short-term deal this summer, his form for Clontarf in the Ulster Bank League having been very impressive.

Tadhg Beirne will be closely watched in the second row, something of a problem position for Leinster in recent times, while Dominic Ryan captains the team from the back row.

James Tracy, Josh van der Flier and Luke McGrath continue the trend of youth being given an opportunity, while Darragh Fanning, Ben Te’o, Noel Reid and Tom Denton will be expected to provide some of the leadership.

Leinster have not named a bench but say that Cullen will bring an extended squad of 33 players to Kingspan Stadium, with replacements to be confirmed at the game.

Isa Nacewa Cathal Noonan / INPHO Nacewa is part of the extended Leinster squad. Cathal Noonan / INPHO / INPHO

The extended squad includes Isa Nacewa and Royce Burke-Flynn, as well as other members of the academy like Garry Ringrose and Nick McCarthy.

Ulster yesterday named a team that includes Darren Cave and Craig Gilroy, with Dan Tuohy also on the bench after all three were released from Joe Schmidt’s Ireland camp.

This pre-season match will not be shown live on television, although Leinster and Ulster say the highlights will be shown on BBC One’s ‘Final Score’ on Saturday (4.30pm) and will be available on the BBC Sport NI website.

Leinster:

15. Billy Dardis
14. Darragh Fanning
13. Ben Te’o
12. Noel Reid
11. Adam Byrne
10. Cathal Marsh
9. Luke McGrath

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1. Peter Dooley
2. James Tracy
3. Jamie Hagan
4. Tadhg Beirne
5. Tom Denton
6. Dominic Ryan (captain)
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Tony Ryan

Replacements:

TBC

Ulster:

15. Jack Owens
14. Craig Gilroy
13. Darren Cave
12. Luke Marshall
11. Peter Nelson
10. Ian Humphreys
9. Paul Marshall

1. Ruairidh Murphy
2. Rob Herring (captain)
3. Wiehan Herbst
4. Peter Brown
5. Franco van der Merwe
6. Clive Ross
7. Sean Reidy
8. Robbie Diack

Replacements:

Andrew Warwick
John Andrew
Ricky Lutton
Bronson Ross
Alan O’Connor
Dan Tuohy
Conor Joyce
Frankie Taggart
Willie Faloon
Stephen Mullholland
Paul Rowley
David Shanahan
Sam Windsor
Jacob Stockdale
Stuart McCloskey
Sam Arnold
Louis Ludik
Mark Best

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