LEO CULLEN WELCOMES back Andrew Porter from international duty as he names a strong starting line-up for the trip to Zebre on Saturday [KO 2.30pm, eir Sport].

The forward made appearances off the bench for Ireland’s opening day defeat to England and their victory over Scotland in Murrayfield last weekend.

Cullen has opted for experience in amongst his forwards, with Jack McGrath, Ross Molony and Porter all involved in this weekend’s clash at the Stadio Zaffanella.

Dave Kearney will take his place at full back , while Adam Byrne lines out on the right wing and Barry Daly on the left.

Jamison Gibson-Park and Ross Byrne are named as half-backs while Conor O’Brien and Rory O’Loughlin is Cullen’s chosen centre combination.

Jack Dunne is in line to make his first senior appearance for Leinster this weekend. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

In the front row, internationals McGrath, Porter and James Tracy all line out, while Molony makes up the second row alongside captain Scott Fardy.

Josh Murphy, Max Deegan and Caelan Doris are all selected to start the back row.

Jack Dunne is in line to make his first senior appearance for the province as he’s named among the replacements, alongside Noel Reid.

Zebre go into the game off the back of a 61-28 away loss against the Cheetahs on 25 January.


15. Dave Kearney
14. Adam Byrne
13. Rory O’Loughlin
12. Conor O’Brien
11. Barry Daly
10. Ross Byrne
9. Jamison Gibson-Park

1. Jack McGrath
2. James Tracy
3. Andrew Porter
4. Ross Molony
5. Scott Fardy
6. Josh Murphy
7. Max Deegan
8. Caelan Doris


16. Bryan Byrne
17. Peter Dooley
18. Michael Bent
19. Mick Kearney
20. Jack Dunne
21. Hugh O’Sullivan
22. Noel Reid
23. Jimmy O’Brien


15. Francois Brummer
14. Gabriele Di Giulio
13. Giulio Bisegni
12. Tommaso Boni
11. James Elliott
10. Carlo Canna
9. Joshua Renton

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1. Daniele Rimpelli
2. Oliviero Fabiani
3. Giosué Zilocchi
4. Samuele Ortis
5. George Biagi
6. Maxime Mbandà
7. Jimmy Tuivaiti
8. Giovanni Licata


16 Luhandre Luus
17 Danilo Fischetti (permit player from Rugby Calvisano)
18 Dario Chistolini
19 Apisai Tauyavuca
20 James Brown
21 Riccardo Raffaele
22 Paula Balekana
23 Nicolas De Battista

Referee: Ian Davies (WRU)

Murray Kinsella, Andy Dunne and Gavan Casey break down Ireland’s dogged win against Scotland in Murrayfield, and look at the room for improvement, in the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly.

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