Leinster to face Melbourne Rebels and Northampton

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Updated: June 16, 2011

Leinster Rugby will face Super 15 franchise the Melbourne Rebels and fellow Heineken Cup finalists, Northampton Saints in Donnybrook ahead of the start of the RaboDirect PRO12 campaign.

The visit of the Australian side who boast a string of Wallaby internationals on their roster including the likes of Sam Cordingley, Stirling Mortlock, England’s Danny Cipriani as well as former Leinster second row Adam Byrnes will provide Leinster with a strong test before welcoming the Saints to Donnybrook a week later in what will be a replay of this year’s memorable Heineken Cup final.

Commenting on the province’s pre-season plans, Leinster Coach Joe Schmidt said: “These two high-profile games, against top class opposition, will be very challenging which is ideal leading into the PRO12 campaign.

“Melbourne are a new franchise with high ambitions who boast a strong array of young and experienced talent.

“We know all about Northampton’s many qualities from their performances both in their domestic league and in Europe last year and both sides will provide us with a real test as we look to integrate some of our new signings into the panel ahead of the start of the PRO12.”

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