18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
In the only change on the starting XV from last weekend, Paul O'Connell is preferred to Mick O'Driscoll as second row partner to Mick Galwey.
Leinster have included Denis Hickie in their starting line-up for Friday's game against Newport but full-back Girvan Dempsey is ruled out and his place is taken by Peter McKenna. Leinster will bring John McWeeney with them to Wales as cover in the event that Hickie fails a late fitness test on Friday.
Connacht Coach Steph Nel makes three changes to his side for the return Shield game against Sale Sharks at Heywood Road. A knee injury rules Darren Yapp out with Damien McCabe his likely replacement. Wayne Munn moves to the centre to partner Tim Allnutt with scrumhalf James Ferris named on the left wing. Mark McHugh, a second half replacement for Eric Elwood in last Saturday's 33-30 defeat, retains his place while Johnny O'Connor has served his three-week suspension and returns to the backrow. Junior Charlie therefore drops out of the match squad, while Paul Neville switches from blindside to openside to accommodate O'Connor's return.
Leinster. P McKenna; D Hickie, B O'Driscoll, S Horgan, G D'Arcy; N Spooner, B O'Meara; R Corrigan (capt), S Byrne; E Byrne; L Cullen, M O'Kelly; E Miller, V Costello, K Gleeson. Replacements: P Coyle, G Hickie, B Casey, T Brennan, B Willis, A Dunne, A Magro.
Munster. J Staunton; J Kelly, M Mullins, J Holland, A Horgan; R O'Gara, P Stringer; P Clohessy, F Sheahan, J Hayes; M Galwey (capt), P O'Connell; J Williams, A Foley (one from three): D Wallace/A Quinlan/C McMahon. Replacements: M Horan, J Blaney, M O'Driscoll, D Wallace/A Quinlan/C McMahon, M Prendergast, R Henderson, K Keane. Connacht. G Duffy; P Duignan, W Munn, T Allnutt, J Ferris; M McHugh, E Reddan; D McFarland, T Kearns, P Bracken; R Frost, D Browne; P Neville, C Rigney, J O'Connor. Replacements: R McCormack, H Bourke, A Maher, M Swift, E Elwood (two from three): M McPhail, D McCabe, D Yapp.
Newport (v Leinster)M Pini; M Mostyn, A Marinos, J Pritchard, B Breeze; S Howarth, O Tonu'u; R Snow, J Richards, C Anthony; S Raiwalui (capt), M Voyle; P Buxton, A Powell, J Forster. Replacements: A Garvey, P Young, I Gough, G Gravell, N Brew, J Strange, D Burn.
Stade Francais (v Ulster). S Jonnet; C Dominici, F Comba, C Mytton, A Gomes; D Dominguez, F Galthie; S Marconnet, M Blin, P de Villiers; D Auradou, M James, P Tabacco, R Pool-Jones, C Juillet. Replacements: B August, L Emmanuelli, H Chaffardon, P Rabadan, N Raffaul t, J Berthe, M Lajus.