One hundredth Leinster cap for Contepomi against Connacht

The Leinster team to face Connacht in Sunday’s Magners League clash in the Sportsground, Galway (KO: 6pm, LIVE Setanta Ireland) has been named.


Felipe Contepomi will become the first overseas player to reach the 100 cap milestone for Leinster. In his 99 appearances to date – where he also became the first Leinster player to pass the 1,000-point mark – he has scored in total 1,043 points (31 tries, 156 conversions, 2 drop goals, 190 penalties). He becomes the 14th Leinster player to reach the century mark.


Commenting on reaching the milestone, Felipe Contepomi said: “When I first signed for Leinster back in 2003 I could never have known that I would reach 100 caps.

 

“It is a huge honour for me to do so because playing for Leinster means a lot to me. I would like to dedicate this achievement to my family and would also like to thank all my team-mates, coaches and all the supporters over the last five years for giving me the opportunity to play to my best for this fantastic club.

“I am very proud to become the first foreign player to reach this milestone for the province, but the most important thing is to get a win against Connacht on Sunday and we’re all focused on getting a positive result.”


In other team news, Rob Kearney starts at full-back and lines up in an exciting back line which also includes Shane Horgan and Luke Fitzgerald, who partners Contepomi at centre. Simon Keogh will make his 11th Leinster appearance on the left wing, but his first since rejoining the province from Harlequins over the summer.


In the pack, Stan Wright and John Fogarty come into the front row alongside CJ Van Der Linde with Rocky Elsom also retaining his place to partner Sean O’Brien and Stephen Keogh in a strong-looking back-row formation.


Of this weekend’s matchday 22, seven players have come through the Leinster Academy system in recent years.


Speaking ahead of Sunday’s game, Leinster captain Leo Cullen says that the squad must regroup as they look forward to an Interprovincial derby with Connacht.


“It’s going to be a very physical game. Connacht really raise their game when they play against the Irish provinces and we’ve had some pretty tough games against them over the years.


“It’s a very tough place to play. We were lucky to get a very tight win in atrocious conditions down there last year, so we’ll have to see what the conditions are like first, but coming off a loss we’re keen to get back to winning ways.


“Motivation won’t be an issue. There are a few changes in the team again this week and there are places up for grabs. Everyone wants to be playing now with so many big games coming up, and there’s going to be plenty of motivation to pick ourselves up and improve.”


Leinster:


15: Rob Kearney, 14: Shane Horgan, 13: Luke Fitzgerald, 12: Felipe Contepomi, 11: Simon Keogh, 10: Jonathan Sexton, 9: Chris Keane,1: Stan Wright, 2: John Fogarty, 3: CJ Van Der Linde, 4: Leo Cullen (C), 5: Devin Toner, 6: Rocky Elsom, 7: Sean O’Brien, 8: Stephen Keogh


Bench:16: Cian Healy, 17: Brian Blaney, 18: Trevor Hogan, 19: Cameron Jowitt, 20: Chris Whitaker, 21: Fergus McFadden, 22: Gary Brown


Referee: George Clancy (IRFU),
Ass. Referee:: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU), John Lacey (IRFU),
TMO: Dermot Moloney (IRFU)

 

TheCelticLeague.com

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