The latest talent produced by Irish Rugby nursery St Michael’s is to make his debut for Leinster tomorrow.
At openside the 19-year-old Scott Penny makes his senior debut having impressed in the victorious Celtic Cup campaign scoring eight tries across the seven games.
Penny is in his first year in the Academy and is joined in the back row by Josh Murphy at six and Caelan Doris at eight who makes his first start at the RDS.
Penny will follow in the footsteps of Dan Leavy, James Ryan, Noel Reid and Ross Moloney among others to have made the jump to professional rugby from the school.
With a number of players still on Ireland duty there are opportunities for other players to state their case and indeed there could be as many as three senior debuts over the course of the 80 minutes with seven players from the Leinster Academy in the match day 23.
In the backs, Cullen has named UCD and Leinster Academy player Hugo Keenan at fullback for his first start with Irish international Adam Byrne on the right wing and James Lowe on the left.
In the centre Conor O’Brien and Noel Reid will line up at 12 and 13, with Nick McCarthy and Ciarán Frawley the half backs.
Ross Molony is joined in the second row by captain Scott Fardy.
There is also the possibility for two further senior debuts with Jimmy O’Brien and Jack Kelly named amongst the replacements. Like Penny, both players were key components of the Leinster ‘A’ Celtic Cup win with Kelly captaining the side in the Final against Scarlets ‘A’.