Quintet return to bolster Leinster

RABODIRECT PRO12

Quintet return to bolster Leinster

Or they would if it was being shown on TV.

With Ulster and Paddy Jackson kicking off against Treviso at Ravenhill five minutes later it will nevertheless make for a fascinating evening of Pro12 comings and goings after events in Murrayfield last Sunday.

Madigan’s hopes of impressing will be aided by his partnership with Eoin Reddan at scrum-half and a back division that boasts both punch and pace in Luke Fitzgerald, Dave Kearney, Brendan Macken, Fergus McFadden and Fionn Carr.

Leo Cullen is given a rare breather and will start from the bench but the pack is still decent and contains Sean Cronin at hooker while Dominic Ryan, Shane Jennings and Rhys Ruddock make up an impressive back row.

It’s been a profitable few weeks for the province with wins over Cardiff, Benetton Treviso and Scarlets solidifying their place in the top four and they now stand just two points adrift of second-placed Glasgow who are also in action tonight.

But team manager Guy Easterby is adamant that thoughts have not yet turned to a place in the top two and the home play-off encounter which comes with that.

“No, there is still too far to go,” he said. “We’re not even three-quarters of the way through the season yet so there is a little bit to go yet.

“We are pleased with the way this block has gone so far but we have to turn up and perform on Friday or some of that will be wasted.”

LEINSTER: 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, R Ruddock.

DRAGONS: D Evans; A Hughes, P Leach, J Dixon, H Amos; S Jones, J Evans; I Jones, N Cudd, L Evans; J Groves, I Nimmo; N Buck, S Parry, P Price.

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