The Leinster team to face Connacht in Sunday’s Magners League clash at the Sportsground (kick-off 6pm) has been named.
Sunday’s game will see Felipe Contepomi become the first overseas player to reach the 100 cap milestone for Leinster.
In his 99 appearances to date, where he also became the first Leinster player to pass the 1000-point mark, he has scored, in total, 1043 points (31 tries, 156 conversions, 190 penalties and 2 drop goals).
The Argentinian international will become the 14th Leinster player to reach the century mark.
Commenting on reaching the milestone, he said: “When I first signed for Leinster back in 2003 I could never have known that I would reach 100 caps. It is a huge honour for me to do so because playing for Leinster means a lot to me.
“I would like to dedicate this achievement to my family and would also like to thank all my team-mates, coaches and all the supporters over the last five years for giving me the opportunity to play to my best for this fantastic club.
“I am very proud to become the first foreign player to reach this milestone for the province, but the most important thing is to get a win against Connacht on Sunday and we’re all focused on getting a positive result.”
To listen to an interview with Felipe Contepomi, at the launch of the 2008 Pfizer Health Index, click here.
In team news, Rob Kearney will start at full-back for Leinster and lines up in an exciting back-line which also includes Shane Horgan and Luke Fitzgerald, who partners Contepomi in the centre.
Simon Keogh will make his 11th Leinster appearance on the left wing, but his first since rejoining the province from Harlequins over the summer.
In the pack, Stan Wright and John Fogarty come into the front row alongside CJ Van Der Linde, with Rocky Elsom also retaining his place to partner Sean O’Brien and Stephen Keogh in the back row.
Interestingly, of Michael Cheika’s matchday 22, seven players have come through the Leinster Academy system in recent years.
LEINSTER (v Connacht): Rob Kearney; Shane Horgan, Luke Fitzgerald, Felipe Contepomi, Simon Keogh; Jonathan Sexton, Chris Keane; Stan Wright, John Fogarty, CJ Van Der Linde, Leo Cullen (capt), Devin Toner, Rocky Elsom, Sean O’Brien, Stephen Keogh.
Replacements: Cian Healy, Brian Blaney, Trevor Hogan, Cameron Jowitt, Chris Whitaker, Fergus McFadden, Gary Brown.