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Leinster were set to switch Ryan Baird's position for Munster derby

By Ian Cameron
Leinster's Ryan Baird.(Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Leinster were set to switch up the position of highly rated second row Ryan Baird for their now postponed clash against Munster, which was set to go ahead this St Stephen’s Day at Thomond Park.

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The game was cancelled after a questionable PCR result for at least one Leinster player had to be investigated. With the investigation set to take longer than three days, the PRO14 decided to postpone the match completely.

Despite this, Leinster released the team that would have played Munster, in a match that would see one of the sides lose their unbeaten record in this season’s competition.

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Something’s got to give:
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Something’s got to give:

Rather interestingly, Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster were set to trial Baird out of position at six. Although he’s typically been playing in the engine room for the blues, his raw athleticism and ball carrying ability had drawn some to the conclusion that he could be a good option on the blindside, in the mould of South Africa’s Pieter Steph du Toit. Playing blindside against Munster in the cauldron of Thomond Park certainly would have made for a fascinating and robust experiment of his skills in the position.

The 6’6, 112kg forward would have been part of an all-St. Michael’s College back row unit alongside Scott Penny and Dan Leavy. Although injury stopped him being capped by Ireland, Baird’s very much seen as a future Ireland international after a break-out season in 2019/20.

At just 21-years-old, the future looks bright for the Dubliner, which ever positions he plays.

Ireland nine Luke McGrath was to captain the side for the visit to Limerick while academy back Max O’Reilly would have made his debut from fullback. A native of Wicklow, 20-year-old O’Reilly is in year one of the Leinster Rugby Academy and is a former pupil of St. Gerard’s School in Bray.

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THE LEINSTER TEAM FOR MUNSTER:
15. Max O’Reilly
14. Cian Kelleher
13. Rory O’Loughlin
12. Ciarán Frawley
11. Dave Kearney
10. Ross Byrne
9. Luke McGrath CAPTAIN
1. Peter Dooley
2. James Tracy
3. Michael Bent
4. Devin Toner
5. Ross Molony
6. Ryan Baird
7. Scott Penny
8. Dan Leavy

16. Seán Cronin
17. Ed Byrne
18. Tom Clarkson
19. Josh Murphy
20. Will Connors
21. Hugh O’Sullivan
22. TBC
23. TBC

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PRO 14    

Leinster were set to switch Ryan Baird's position for Munster derby

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