Brian O’Driscoll will make his first Leinster appearance of the season, having being named in the starting line-up for Saturday’s interprovincial derby against Munster. O’Driscoll will partner Gordon D’Arcy in the centre,
Shane Jennings joins Kevin McLaughlin and Jamie Heaslip in the back row, with Nathan Hines again partnering skipper Leo Cullen in the second row.
Ireland international quartet Bernard Jackman, Rob Kearney, Malcolm O’Kelly and Mike Ross are named on a strong bench.
Commenting on the mood in the camp ahead of Saturday’s game, Leinster coach Michael Cheika said: “In the team there’s a lot of genuine positive feeling amongst the guys. This has been building up over time and there’s a really strong dressing room, which is the objective.
“It’s almost like the dressing room makes the coach’s job obsolete. He doesn’t have to motivate, he just makes a few tactics and they’re motivating themselves and getting themselves up for games.
“When they’re on the back foot they get themselves out of trouble. We didn’t play well last weekend (against Edinburgh) but they got themselves out of trouble which is good. If you’re patient and you work hard then the results will come.
“The two matches against Munster (and the three which can happen which are good!) are the highlights of your season.
“For me, as a foreigner who has come to understand the rivalry, it’s a real classic. You don’t find these types of rivalries in many other places.
“What we have to is break the tit-for-tat nature of this encounter. They win and then we win, we win two and then they win two.
“If we want to be successful on Saturday then we’ll need to break that cycle because I want us to be the team that’s mentally angrier and wants to come back and win the match even though we won the last time. Last time means nothing.”
As this game is a sell out, supporters are reminded that tickets will not be on sale on the day and to take public transport.
LEINSTER (v Munster): Isa Nacewa; Shane Horgan, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald; Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Reddan; Cian Healy, John Fogarty, Stan Wright, Leo Cullen (capt), Nathan Hines, Kevin McLaughlin, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: Bernard Jackman, Mike Ross, Malcolm O’Kelly, Sean O’Brien, Simon Keogh, Fergus McFadden, Rob Kearney.