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Michael Bent may start for Leinster ahead of Ireland's November Series

The Kiwi prop looks set to feature against Ospreys in an effort to give him some crucial game-time.

Declan Kidney and Michael Bent get acquainted.
Declan Kidney and Michael Bent get acquainted.
Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

LEINSTER RUGBY HAS announced that Michael Bent, the new arrival on the Irish rugby scene, could start against Pro12 champions Ospreys on Sunday.

Ireland coach Declan Kidney sprung a selection shock on Sunday when he named Bent, who qualifies to play for the country through his maternal grandmother, in his extended squad for the Guinness Series.

Leinster revealed, “Prop Michael Bent and New Zealand out-half Andrew Goodman have arrived in Ireland following their ITM Cup commitments and they could be added to the panel for Sunday’s game.”

Bent, who played a full season with Taranaki in the ITM Cup, trained with the Ireland squad yesterday and again today at a session open to ticket-holding members of the public.

There is a strong possibility that the tighthead prop, along with Munster out-half Ronan O’Gara, could be released from international commitments to gain vital game-time.

Dipping into the resources

David Kearney and Rhys Ruddock successfully came through their comeback games in the Cardiff Blues victory on Saturday while Shane Jennings is set to return to the panel after featuring in all of the province’s opening eight games of the season.

The club also revealed the status of their long-term injured. They commented:

Eoin O’Malley, Dominic Ryan and Quinn Roux have stepped up their rehabilitation in recent weeks and they’re on course for a return to action in early to mid November.

Ireland duo Luke Fitzgerald and Sean O’Brien are making progress in their respective rehabilitation programmes and are targeting a return to play toward the end of November or in early December.”

Leinster have 10 players, including Bent, away on international duty and will dip into the academy and ‘A’ playing pool.

The ‘A’ side defeated Leeds Carnegie 47-18 in their one British and Irish Cup match this season, with tries coming from Jordan Coghlan, Brendan Macken, Jack Conan, Sam Coughlan-Murray, Fionn Carr, Darren Hudson and Leo Auva’a.

The team to take on Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium, on Sunday, will be named this Friday.

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Patrick McCarry

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