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Celtic League: D’Arcy To Start For Leinster

Celtic League: D’Arcy To Start For Leinster

Ireland centre Gordon D’Arcy will make his first Leinster start for two months when the province entertain Ulster in their post-Christmas Celtic League clash at Donnybrook on Monday.

Ireland centre Gordon D’Arcy will make his first Leinster start for two months when the province entertain Ulster in their post-Christmas Celtic League clash at Donnybrook on Monday.

Meanwhile, Munster coach Alan Gaffney has made ten changes to his side for their Galway trip to face Connacht – with skipper Anthony Foley amongst those returning.

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Both the seventh-placed westerners and Ulster – just separated by three points in the league table – are waiting on injury news ahead of the interprovincial derbies.

Monday, December 27
Connacht v Munster, The Sportsground, 2.00pm

Connacht coach Michael Bradley waits on a number of late fitness tests, including Matt Lacey and Darren Yapp, ahead of the visit of second-placed Munster.

Gaffney’s charges can go top with their ninth straight win in the competition, but they have not had things their own way against Connacht in recent times.

Munster’s Paul Burke, one of ten players recalled for Monday, had to land an injury time penalty as Connacht lost out agonisingly on a first win over their southern rivals in 16 years, in September’s 27-all draw at Musgrave Park.

A number of Munster’s leading lights have been rested for the tie, with wholesale changes from the side which edged the Opsreys 13-9 last Saturday.

Marcus Horan, Denis Leamy and Donncha O’Callaghan in the forwards, and top try scorer Christian Cullen and Paul Devlin are the only survivors.

Foley returns, along with tighthead prop John Hayes, lock Paul O’Connell and Stephen Keogh. Eoin Reddan, Jason Holland, James Storey and Burke will also get a chance to impress.


Forwards: Adrian Clarke, Ray Hogan, Bernard Jackman, John Fogarty, Stephen Knoop, Peter Bracken, Pieter Myburgh, Christian Short, Andrew Farley, John Muldoon, Michael Swift, Matt Lacey, John O’Sullivan.

Backs: Chris Keane, Mike Walls, Tom Tierney, Eric Elwood, Paul Warwick, James Downey, Conor McPhillips, Ted Robinson, Darren Yapp, Niall O’Brien, Justin Meagher, Matt Mostyn.


(15) Christian Cullen
(14) Paul Devlin
(13) James Storey
(12) Jason Holland
(11) Anthony Horgan
(10) Paul Burke
(9) Eoin Reddan
(1) Marcus Horan
(2) Jerry Flannery
(3) John Hayes
(4) Donncha O’Callaghan
(5) Paul O’Connell
(6) Stephen Keogh
(7) Denis Leamy
(8) Anthony Foley (Capt)

(16) Mike Storey
(17) Frankie Sheahan
(18) Trevor Hogan
(19) Alan Quinlan
(20) Mike Prendergast
(21) Shaun Payne
(22) Mossy Lawlor

Leinster v Ulster, Donnybrook, 5.05pm

24-year-old’s D’Arcy’s return for Leinster sees him partner up with Blackrock’s David Quinlan – a first minue try scorer in last weekend’s 15-6 win in Cardiff.

D’Arcy made a substitute appearance in that success – his first on-the-field action since damaging his groin when touching down in October’s 30-11 Heineken Cup win over Bath.

Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll is amongst a strong line-up of replacements, as Leinster seek to extend a five-year unbeaten home run against Ulster.

O’Driscoll is joined by Denis Hickie, Shane Byrne, Malcolm O’Kelly, Eric Miller, Emmett Byrne and deputy scrum-half Brian O’Riordan on Declan Kidney’s bench.

Argentine international Felipe Contepomi also shifts to full back.

Ulster are waiting on a number of injury doubts, with Ireland fly-half David Humphreys chief amongst them.

The 33-year-old was forced off with a foot injury in last weekend’s 36-34 win at home to Edinburgh, and is rated doubtful alongside Neil Best, Matt McCullough and Paul Shields.

Third-placed Leinster have an enviable home record – stretching back to last March – and Mark McCall’s side will have to go some to pick off a much-prized win.

The northerners have not beaten Leinster in Dublin since a 26-15 win in the Interprovincial Championship in August 1999.


(15) Felipe Contepomi
(14) Shane Horgan
(13) Gordon D’Arcy
(12) David Quinlan
(11) Kieran Lewis
(10) David Holwell
(9) Brian O’Meara
(1) Reggie Corrigan (Capt)
(2) David Blaney
(3) Ricky Nebbett
(4) Ben Gissing
(5) Leo Cullen
(6) Aidan McCullen
(7) Niall Ronan
(8) Victor Costello

(16) Emmett Byrne
(17) Shane Byrne
(18) Malcolm O’Kelly
(19) Eric Miller
(20) Brian O’Riordan
(21) Brian O’Driscoll
(22) Denis Hickie


Forwards: Ronan McCormack, Simon Best, Rod Moore, Paul Shields, Rory Best, Nigel Brady, Rowan Frost, Matt McCullough, Gary Longwell, Matt Mustchin, Gavin Pfister, Neil Best, Campbell Feather, Roger Wilson.

Backs: Bryn Cunningham, Tommy Bowe, Andrew Maxwell, Tyrone Howe, Paul Steinmetz, Kevin Maggs, Jonny Bell, Adam Larkin, Paddy Wallace, David Humphreys, Neil Doak, Kieran Campbell.