O’Donohoe captains Leinster in British & Irish Cup

The Leinster team to face the Exeter Chiefs in Saturday’s British and Irish Cup clash in Sandy Park (KO: 3pm) has been named.


Speaking ahead of Saturday afternoon’s game in Exeter, Leinster centre Eoin O’Malley said that the English side will pose a significant test in their own backyard.


“At this stage of the season we’re all dying to play games. Having missed out on a fair bit of rugby over the last year through injury I now feel fit and fresh and it was good to get a game under my belt against Ulster last week. Even though we lost that game, there were positives and we’re keen to build on them this week.


“Obviously selection for the Magners League game next week against the Scarlets is a carrot for the players, but we’re not looking past this week because we have a lot of respect for Exeter and we have done a lot of video work on them.


“They’re going strong and they’re a club with big ambitions to become a force in the Guinness Premiership. They’re pushing for promotion and it will be a tough game for us but the experience of winning on the road in Plymouth back in November will stand to us and training this week has been sharp.


“There’s an awful lot of experience in the mix for selection this week alongside the young, up and coming talent, so each of us wants to stake a claim. There’s obviously a huge game in Paris on Saturday, and they’re be a lot of close interest in that game, but hopefully we can put in a strong performance ourselves.


“Even though you’d think that it has been a fractured time for those of us who are not involved with the international set-ups, it has been really busy and training has been intense which is how you want it. In the past it would have been a lot quieter with the international games going on, but we’re all enjoying being involved in a new structured competition.


“The British and Irish Cup has given each of us a further incentive to impress and with big games coming up in the Magners League, we all see this week’s game as a chance to impress as well as keep up our winning form.”


Paul O’Donohoe captains a strong team which includes three Ireland internationals in the pack in Trevor Hogan, Malcolm O’Kelly and Mike Ross as well as Girvan Dempsey in the backline.


Shaun Berne starts at inside centre alongside Eoin O’Malley, while in the pack Eoin Sheriff is named in the back-row alongside Paul Ryan and Stephen Keogh. Simon Keogh, Ronan McCormack and Devin Toner are named amongst the replacements.


LEINSTER:


15: Girvan Dempsey , 14: Niall Morris , 13: Eoin O’Malley , 12: Shaun Berne , 11: David Kearney , 10: Ian Madigan , 9: Paul O’Donohoe (C) 1: Stan Wright , 2: Richardt Strauss , 3: Mike Ross , 4: Trevor Hogan , 5: Malcolm O’Kelly , 6: Eoin Sheriff , 7: Paul Ryan , 8: Stephen Keogh


REPLACEMENTS:16: Jason Harris-Wright , 17: Ronan McCormack , 18: Devin Toner , 19: Ciaran Ruddock , 20: David Moore , 21: Kyle Tonetti , 22: Simon Keogh


REFEREE: Leighton Hodges (WRU)

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