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Pro14

Leinster Rest Stars for Glasgow Trip

Leinster have rested some of their key men for this weekend’s game away to Glasgow

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(Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has named his 23-man squad for tomorrow’s PRO14 match against Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium at 19 35.

Cullen has decided to hand some of his star men a rest ahead of next weekend’s Champions Cup trip to Northampton, with Ross Moloney captaining a youthful side sprinkled with experienced campaigners. 

In the front-row Peter Dooley and Michael Bent are either side of hooker James Tracy, with Molony and Devin Toner slotting in behind them in the second-row. 

The back-row sees Josh Murphy at blindside-flanker, with Will Connors on the openside and Caelan Doris completes the pack from No 8. 

Jamison Gibson-Park opens the game at scrum-half and is joined in the half-back pairing by Ross Byrne, who is at out-half, and they will have Conor O’Brien and Jimmy O’Brien outside them in the midfield. 

Cian Kelleher takes up a place on the left-wing, while Adam Byrne is on the right and Hugo Keenan finishes up the starting XV from full-back. 

There is a mix of experience and youth on the bench with the likes of Fergus McFadden and Ed Byrne joining youngsters such as Ciaran Frawley and Scott Penny among the replacements. 

Speaking ahead of the game Jimmy O’Brien has warned his side that Glasgow will want revenge following their loss in last year’s final to the boys in blue. 

“They’re going to have a big chip on their shoulder. They’re going to want to come out and beat us, obviously, after the final last year. So it’s a very important game. We’re definitely not underestimating them,” he said. 

Leinster will be hoping to continue their winning start to the season with a seventh win on the bounce in the PRO14, but Glasgow, who are currently sitting fourth in the table will want to upset the reigning champions and gain ground on the current Conference A leaders. 

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below.

Starting XV:

15. Hugo Keenan (10)

14. Adam Byrne (55)

13. Jimmy O’Brien (12)

12. Conor O’Brien (19)

11. Cian Kelleher (9)

10. Ross Byrne (78)

9. Jamison Gibson-Park (78)

1. Peter Dooley (67)

2. James Tracy (100)

3. Michael Bent (131)

4. Ross Molony (88) (c)

5. Devin Toner (238)

6. Josh Murphy (27)

7. Will Connors (9)

8. Caelan Doris (22)

Replacements:

6. Bryan Byrne (43)

17. Ed Byrne (47)

18. Jack Aungier (1)

19. Oisín Dowling (4)

20. Scott Penny (9)

21. Hugh O’Sullivan (17)

22. Ciarán Frawley (16)

23. Fergus McFadden (179)

6 Nations

Sexton to Miss Northampton Return Game

Leinster fly-half Johnny Sexton is set to miss this weekend’s home game against Northampton Saints and there are further injury concerns for the Irish province

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Leinster have confirmed that out-half Johnny Sexton will not feature in this weekend’s return fixture against the Northampton Saints in the Champions Cup.

The Irish-star went down awkwardly in a tackle early in the second-half of Saturday’s 43-16 victory over the Saints and was replaced by Ross Byrne immediately and will now see a specialist later today for further scans on the injury. 

The 34-year-olds fitness uncertainty will come as a massive concern for new Ireland head coach Andy Farrell, with the Six Nations edging closer and with him set to take charge of his first training camp before the New Year. 

As well as his skill-set, many expect Sexton to take over the captaincy from recently retired Rory Best, with his experience being a key component to the Irish side. 

The good news for his province is that Ross Byrne has been in fine form so far this season after his Rugby World Cup omission from the Irish squad and has back-up from younger brother Harry as well as Ciaran Frawley, with Ross likely to take the starting spot this weekend. 

However, Leinster will be without backs Joe Tomane and Rory O’Loughlin this weekend, with the former set to be side-lined for up to eight weeks with a hamstring injury following a brilliant opening to the season, while the latter is suffering from a shoulder problem. 

In the forwards James Ryan is undergoing the return to play protocols after taking a knock to the head during Saturday’s win. 

Leinster and Ireland will hope that Sexton makes a speedy recovery, but for the boys in blue their eyes will be firmly set on this weekend’s fixture which could see them all but qualify for the knock-out stages of the competition and they will want to continue their perfect start to the season with an incredible 10 wins from 10.

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Pro14

Zebre Star Receives Small Ban for Biting

Zebre might have claimed a famous away win in the PRO14 last weekend, but it’s not all rosy for the Italian team after one of their players has been handed a ban for biting, although it’s shorter than most would expect

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Zebre No 8 has received a six-week ban after being found guilty of biting an opposition player during last Saturday’s PRO14 clash with the Ospreys.

The 24-year-old was expected to be handed a lengthy ban for an act of foul play that is seriously frowned upon in the sport, but after initially being given a 12-week ban it was cut in half due to his previous disciplinary record, his admission of guilt and his conduct throughout the process. 

All of which means that he will be free to play for the Italian minnows, who enjoyed a memorable away win in Wales, come the 12th of January. 

The four-time capped Italian’s ban comes only a week after the exact same ban that was handed down to La Rochelle’s Pierre Bourgarit, who was caught eye-gouging Sale’s Tom Curry in a Champions Cup fixture. 

Another one of the worst offences in the game and it was reduced from 12 to six weeks, much for the same reasons as Giammarioli. 

Some fans and ex-players will criticise the decision, as it appears a much softer result than in days gone by for offences that could have caused serious harm to opponents.

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Pro14

Dragons Prop Forced to Retire Early

The Dragons have confirmed that one of their players has been forced to retire due to a freak training ground injury

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Dragons prop Jack Cosgrove has decided to retire from rugby due to injury the club have confirmed.

At only 25-years of age Cosgrove has been forced to retire early due to an eye injury that he sustained during a training session back in October. 

Having only joined the Welsh outfit in the summer it is a big blow to Cosgrove and the club wished him all the best in a statement.  

“Everyone at the Dragons wishes Jack every success in his future and he will continue to receive professional help and support from the region as he makes the transition from playing,” the statement read. 

The player had been through specialist treatment and had medical advice which helped him come to his decision.

Cosgrove came through the Worcester Warriors academy in England before he moved on to Edinburgh in 2015. A move to Bristol in 2017 followed, where he won the Championship on his return to England, before a return to Worcester ahead of his final switch to Dragons. 

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