Leinster’s young guns up for battle

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Typical of weeks when the team is decimated by international duty, the Leinster starting XV features three players from the academy side. In an early rehearsal for Declan Kidney’s gambit of throwing an inexperienced out-half into the fray, Joe Schmidt has given 22-year-old Clontarf number 10 Noel Reid the nod ahead of Ian Madigan.

Fergus McFadden joins Madigan in the dugout after being released from Ireland camp following training yesterday as Leinster field an inexperienced side, led by Leo Cullen. Shane Jennings returns after missing last weekend’s win and features in the back-row alongside Jordi Murphy and Dominic Ryan.

The Scarlets come to town hoping to copper-fasten their fourth-placed position in the table following last weekend’s win against Munster and are now just three points behind Leinster in the table.

The Scarlets only victory over Leinster in their last 10 meetings in all competitions was 45-20 at Parc y Scarlets in the opening game of this season and despite facing a youthful side, head coach Simon Easterby believes his side are up against it. “We have to go back to October 2007 to find the last time we won at the RDS, so we know we have plenty to do out there,” he said. “Leinster have a proud home record and we know from encounters in Europe what intensity they bring. “We got a good win against them at the beginning of the season; however we’re also well aware that we caught them a bit cold that day and you won’t see that in a Leinster team too often.”

Leinster: D Kearney, A Conway, E O’Malley, A Goodman, F Carr, N Reid, I Boss; J McGrath, A Dundon, M Bent, L Cullen (capt), B Marshall, D Ryan, S Jennings, J Murphy. Replacements: T Sexton, J O’Connell, J Hagan, M Flanagan, R Ruddock, J Cooney, I Madigan, F McFadden

Scarlets: A Thomas, N Reynolds, G Maule, A Warren, A Fenby, O Williams, A Davies; P John, E Phillips, J Adriaanse, G Earle, J Synman, A Shingler, J Turnbull, R McCusker (capt). Replacements: M Rees, R Jones, S Lee, J Ball, S Timani, G Davies, K Phillips, D Ford.

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