Gavin names team as champions Dublin prepare for National League opener away in Clones

JIM GAVIN HAS named his starting team for tomorrow’s Allianz National Football League opener away against Monaghan, as the All-Ireland champions seek to defend their title and secure a sixth league crown in seven seasons in 2019 [throw-in 2pm].

Gavin makes six changes from the side which defeated Tyrone to lift the Sam Maguire for the fourth time in a row in September, with big-hitters like Stephen Cluxton, Philly McMahon, James McCarthy, Jack McCaffrey and Cian O’Sullivan all rested.

Captain Cluxton makes way as Evan Comerford starts in goal, with a new full-back line of Eric Lowndes, Mick Fitzsimons and Conor Mullally picked for the curtain raiser in Clones.

Eoin Murchan is given the nod at half-back alongside the usual pairing of Jonny Cooper and John Small, while Michael Darragh MacAuley partners Footballer of the Year Brian Fenton in the middle of the park.

Con O’Callaghan is named at corner forward against Malachy O’Rourke’s All-Ireland semi-finalists, with Cormac Costello picked to start in the half-forward line as Ciaran Kilkenny is rested.

Dublin starting XV versus Monaghan:

1. Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams)

2. Eric Lowndes (St Peregrines)
3. Mick Fitzsimons (Cuala)
4. Conor Mullally (Cuala)

5. Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna)
6. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)
7. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)

8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
9. Michael Darragh MacAuley (Ballyboden St. Endas)

10. Brian Howard (Raheny)
11. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille)
12. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street)

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13. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes)
14. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
15. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)

Here is the Dublin starting XV for tomorrow's opening NFL clash with @monaghangaa! 🔥#TheNextChapter pic.twitter.com/1mn7J4RRCu

— Dublin GAA (@DubGAAOfficial) January 26, 2019

Monaghan starting XV versus Dublin:

1. Rory Beggan (Scotstown)

2. Kieran Duffy (Latton)
3. Conor Boyle (Clontibret)
4. Ryan Wylie (Ballybay)

5. Karl O’Connell (Tyholland)
6. Barry Kerr (Cremartin)
7. Colin Walshe (Doohamlet)

8. Darren Hughes (Scotstown)
9. Fintan Kelly (Clones)

10. Ryan McAnespie (Emyvale)
11. Dermot Malone (Castleblaney)
12. Shane Carey (Scotstown)

13. David Garland (Donaghmoyne)
14. Jack McCarron (Currin)
15. Michael Bannigan (Aughnamullen)

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