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Leinster and Ulster name their teams for opening weekend of new season

Leinster team

The new season begins this weekend.

Leinster and Ulster have named their teams for their opening matches of the new Guinness PRO14 season.

The new season begins this weekend for the Irish provinces as Leinster host the Dragons at the RDS on Friday night (8.15 pm) while Ulster welcome Italian side Benetton to the Kingspan Stadium at the same time.

Leinster team

Both Leinster and Ulster have announced their teams for their respective matches.

Leinster

The reigning champions have gone with a really strong side which sees the likes of Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose, Johnny Sexton, James Lowe, James Ryan and Josh van der Flier included.

There is also a host of international talent on the bench as Leo Cullen’s side signal that they want to put their Champions Cup disappointment behind them with a strong showing against the Dragons.

Leinster: Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose, Ciaran Frawley, James Lowe, Johnny Sexton, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ed Byrne, Ronan Kelleher, Michael Bent, Scott Fardy, James Ryan, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Andrew Porter, Ryan Baird, Max Deegan, Luke McGrath, Ross Byrne, Tommy O’Brien.

Ulster

Ulster have also named a strong team for their meeting with Benetton in Belfast. Jacob Stockdale starts at fullback where he is joined by Craig Gilroy and Rob Lyttle on the wings.

Stewart Moore will make his first senior start for Ulster and he will be partnered by James Hume in the centre. Michael Lowry has been named at out-half as John Cooney starts at scrum-half.

Up front, there is a full Irish international front row in the form of Jack McGrath, Rob Herring and Marty Moore. Sam Carter and Iain Henderson pack down in the second-row while Matthew Rea, Sean Reidy and Marcell Coetzee make up the back-row.

Ulster: Jacob StockdaleCraig GilroyJames HumeStewart MooreRob LyttleMichael LowryJohn Cooney, Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Sam Carter, Iain Henderson (Capt.), Matthew Rea, Sean Reidy, Marcell Coetzee.

Replacements: Adam McBurneyEric O’SullivanGareth MilasinovichDavid O’ConnorDavid McCannAlby MathewsonBill JohnstonLouis Ludik. 

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email seanmc@punditarena.com or on Twitter