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Leinster to give Wallaby wrecking-ball first start as James Lowe makes positional switch

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Joe Tomane. Photo / Getty Images

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Leinster are set to give Wallaby powerhouse Joe Tomane his first start as a Leinster player against ProD2 opposition.


Leinster named their team to face US Montauban in the first Bank of Ireland Pre-season Friendly and it includes a squad of 28 players will travel to France today ahead of Friday night’s match against the Pro D2 side at Stade Sapiac.

Rhys Ruddock will captain Leinster Rugby in the game, starting at openside flanker. Ruddock was named as Leinster Rugby’s new vice-captain for the season earlier this week, with Johnny Sexton named as the province’s new captain.

Ruddock is joined in the back row by Josh Murphy and Max Deegan.

New signing Joe Tomane will make his first appearance in the blue of Leinster when he starts at inside centre. He joins Rory O’Loughlin to form Leinster’s starting midfield pairing.

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Meanwhile James Lowe, who is usually found on the wing, will start at fullback.

Speaking to Leinster Rugby TV ahead of the game, Leinster Rugby Head Coach Leo Cullen said:

“The majority of the group that are playing this weekend came back in the middle of June. They did a three-week block at that stage, had another break and came back, so they’ve done a fair amount. It’ll be nice to put into practice some of the things we’ve worked on over the course of pre-season.

“We have 28 players that are going to travel to France. It’s a good opportunity for these lads to put their hand up nice and early in the season.”


Montauban finished second at the end of the 2017/18 Pro D2 regular season which meant they qualified for the promotion play-off semi-finals. There they lost out to Grenoble who ultimately won promotion to the TOP 14.

“[Montauban are] a big physical team and it should be a good test. They get good crowds over there as well. Conditions are difficult this time of year in the south of France. Overall it should be a very, very good test for us.

“The teams like Perpignan last season and Montauban, they’re a little more advanced than we are in terms of this being the third pre-season game that they’ve played. It was the same with Perpignan last year. Their season starts next week, so there’s a probably a bit more urgency about what they’re doing. They’ve probably built a bit of the cohesion that we’re trying to establish now at this stage.”

Leinster Rugby

15. James Lowe
14. Adam Byrne
13. Rory O’Loughlin
12. Joe Tomane
11. Barry Daly
10. Noel Reid
9. Nick McCarthy
1. Peter Dooley
2. Bryan Byrne
3. Michael Bent
4. Ross Molony
5. Ian Nagle
6. Josh Murphy
7. Rhys Ruddock CAPTAIN
8. Max Deegan

16. James Tracy
17. Ed Byrne
18. Vakh Abdaladze
19. Mick Kearney
20. Will Connors
21. Jamison Gibson-Park
22. Jimmy O’Brien
23. Dave Kearney
24. Oisín Dowling
25. Conor O’Brien
26. Tom Daly
27. Jack Kelly
28. Gavin Mullin

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