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Ireland get Autumn Nations Cup boost as rising star named on Leinster bench

By Online Editors

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Ireland will get a potential Autumn Nations Cup boost with rising second row star Ryan Baird named on the Leinster bench to face Edinburgh.


Baird is returning from an adductor injury to take his place on the bench. Baird has enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks after he burst onto the scene last season with standout performances for Leinster in the Guinness PRO14. Baird had been named in Andy Farrell’s end of season Six Nations squad but was replaced by Connachts Ultan Dillane after the St Michael’s College product picked up the aforementioned injury playing for Leinster.

Baird had been tipped to debut for Ireland this Autumn, and his appearance on Leinster’s replacement list signal a belated re-call to Ireland Autumn Nations Cup squad.

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Rhys Ruddock captains the side again from Number 8, after back-to-back Guinness Player of the Match performances. He will be joined in the back row by Dan Leavy who makes his first start since March 2019 when he also started against Edinburgh Rugby and fetcher Scott Penny.

There are also three players from the Leinster Rugby Academy in the match day 23. It’s as you were last week in the back three with Jimmy O’Brien at full back, Cian Kelleher on the right wing and Dave Kearney on the left wing.

It’s a new centre pairing though with both Tommy O’Brien and Rory O’Loughlin missing out through injury so Ciarán Frawley is joined by Academy back Liam Turner in the centre. Luke McGrath and Harry Byrne are again in the half backs together.

In the pack it’s a front row of Peter Dooley, James Tracy and Michael Bent, while in the second row Devin Toner is joined by Scott Fardy.


Leinster Rugby:
15. Jimmy O’Brien (22)
14. Cian Kelleher (17)
13. Liam Turner (2)
12. Ciarán Frawley (28)
11. Dave Kearney (152)
10. Harry Byrne (14)
9. Luke McGrath (132)
1. Peter Dooley (79)
2. James Tracy (114)
3. Michael Bent (145)
4. Devin Toner (252)
5. Scott Fardy (65)
6. Dan Leavy (66)
7. Scott Penny (17)
8. Rhys Ruddock (178) CAPTAIN

16. Dan Sheehan (3)
17. Michael Milne (12)
18. Ciarán Parker (2)
19. Ross Molony (100)
20. Josh Murphy (36)
21. Hugh O’Sullivan (23)
22. David Hawkshaw (2)
23. Ryan Baird (12)

Referee: Craig Evans (WRU)

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Ireland get Autumn Nations Cup boost as rising star named on Leinster bench