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Leinster draft in unheralded lock as another forward heads for exit

By Ian Cameron
Joe McCarthy /Getty

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Leinster have drafted in uncapped academy secondrow Joe McCarthy for their match with Cardiff at Cardiff Arms Park in the United Rugby Championship.

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The former Blackrock College student is included in the starting XV after a number of impressive performances for Dublin University in the All-Ireland League.

Standing 6’6 and weighing in at 119kg, the 20-year-old will be looking to impress in a position where there appears to be plenty to play for. He will be partnered on his first outing by club veteran Devin Toner, who is the current Leinster appearances record-holder at 272 games.

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Saracens vs Bristol Bears – The Showdown 2
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The province are in the midst of a depth crisis in the engineroom, with a number of second rows heading for the exit door.

Last night it was reported that utility forward Josh Murphy is set to sign for Connacht. The Irish Times report that Murphy, who started last weekend against Bath, will join the Galway men this summer.

Jack Dunne is reportedly on his way to Exeter Chiefs, while Charlie Ryan is also in talks with a number of teams in the English Premiership.

Against this, Leinster are set to sign Springbok tighthead lock Jason Jenkins from Munster. The 6’7, 125kg lock who can also play backrow, is said to be a done deal, even if head coach Leo Cullen refused to give too much away on the signing in recent weeks.

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“We don’t normally comment on this speculation, but I can see how it would make sense for certain people’s minds, for sure. I know that Johann (Van Graan) talks very, very highly of him. He is a big man,” Cullen said last week. “You see in some of the big games, South Africa winning the World Cup and that Lions series, the emphasis particularly around the scrum and maul.

LEINSTER:
15. Jimmy O’Brien
14. Adam Byrne
13. Jamie Osborne
12. Ciarán Frawley
11. Rory O’Loughlin
10. Ross Byrne
9. Luke McGrath (C)
1. Ed Byrne
2. Seán Cronin
3. Michael Ala’alatoa
4. Devin Toner
5. Joe McCarthy
6. Rhys Ruddock
7. Will Connors
8. Scott Penny

REPLACEMENTS:
16. James Tracy
17. Peter Dooley
18. Vakh Abdaladze
19. Ross Molony
20. Max Deegan
21. Nick McCarthy
22. Harry Byrne
23. Tommy O’Brien

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