Jennings the skipper as Leinster look to slay Dragons
With Leo Cullen named among the replacements, Shane Jennings has been entrusted with skippering Leinster for their RaboDirect PRO 12 clash with the Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade tomorrow evening (7.00pm).
With a number of players available for selection this week, the Leinster management have made several changes to the starting line up ahead of the trip to Newport.
Twenty-two-year-old academy prop Jack O’Connell will make his seventh Leinster appearance – and his first start – in a front row which includes Balbriggan’s Jamie Hagan and Sean Cronin who is one of five Ireland internationals to return to the panel this week.
O’Connell has featured in the province’s last three wins against Cardiff Blues, Benetton Treviso and the Scarlets as a replacement.
Fergus McFadden partners the fit again Brendan Macken at centre, with full-back Luke Fitzgerald included in a dangerous looking back three alongside Fionn Carr and David Kearney.
Meanwhile, Ian Madigan – who makes his 23rd appearance of the season – links up with Eoin Reddan at half back.
Jennings is part of a re-jigged back row which includes Dominic Ryan and sees Rhys Ruddock switch to number eight.
Mark Flanagan, fresh from his seasonal debut last weekend, locks down alongside his cousin Devin Toner.
After featuring prominently in the recent victories, Jack McGrath takes his place amongst the replacements.
Leinster (v. Dragons): L Fitzgerald; D Kearney, B Macken, F McFadden, F Carr; I Madigan, E Reddan; J O’Connell, S Cronin, J Hagan, M Flanagan, D Toner; D Ryan. S Jennings (capt), R Ruddock.
Replacements: A Dundon, J McGrath, M Bent, L Cullen, J Murphy, J Cooney, A Goodman, E O’Malley.