Rugby Des Berry: ‘Leinster and Ulster have rested their big stars – but two young guns have a big point to prove’

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Leinster’s Jamison Gibson-Park, Ronan Kelleher, Caelan Doris, Will Connors and Max Deegan are joined by Connacht’s Caolin Blade and Ulster’s Billy Burns and Tom O’Toole as the uncapped among the extended 45-man squad.

The commitment to reward form comes as a shot in the arm to those who, until now, were trying to crack the international rotation.

In terms of tomorrow, Deegan and O’Toole have risen from forwards of potential to men who have to dominate, especially given the rationed resources being used by Leo Cullen and Dan McFarland.

They are two men on a mission, all with one considered selection by Ireland’s new coach.


Age: 23

Leinster Caps: 56

Coach Cullen turns to just five of the 19 Leinster contributions to Ireland’s squad to start against Ulster, with Cian Healy and Josh van der Flier on the bench.

When Deegan was named U20 World Player of the Year in 2016, the number ei

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