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Leinster Name Side For Ravenhill Tie

Leinster Name Side For Ravenhill Tie

The Leinster team to face Ulster in Saturday evening’s Magners League clash at Ravenhill (kick-off 6pm) has been named.

Brian O’Driscoll skippers the Leinster side and will partner Gordon D’Arcy for Saturday’s interprovincial showdown in Belfast.

There is an all-new half-back pairing with Chris Keane starting alongside Shaun Berne, while Girvan Dempsey starts on the right wing with Rob Kearney and Isa Nacewa continuing at full-back and on the left wing respectively.

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In the pack, Ronan McCormack lines up alongside Bernard Jackman and Mike Ross in the front row, with Devin Toner partnering Nathan Hines. The back row remains unchanged.

CJ van der Linde has been named on a strong replacements panel which includes the likes of Malcolm O’Kelly, Jonathan Sexton and Luke Fitzgerald.

Speaking ahead of the clash, Leinster flanker Sean O’Brien said that the squad are keen to improve on their performances against an in-form Ulster.

“We’re winning games, which is the most important thing at the moment, but as a group we know that there’s room for improvement in our play,” said the Carlow man.

“We’re not firing on all cylinders but we’re fighting hard to grind out wins and we will need to be sharp against what is a really strong Ulster side just now.

“Ulster have a powerful forward unit. I have played against Willie Faloon before and he is a good up-and-coming player while Chris Henry and Robbie Diack are all playing well in the back row.

“(Stephen) Ferris is an enforcer for them and with Ian Humphreys playing so well at the moment, we’ll have to be really sharp to counter their threats.”

O’Brien added: “It’s important that we compete with Ulster from the off and because it’s an Interprovincial game, that will add a bit more spice to proceedings.

“Ravenhill is a great ground to play in. The home crowd really gets behind their team and it’s not an easy place to go to. But we’ll approach the game positively.”

LEINSTER (v Ulster): Rob Kearney; Girvan Dempsey, Brian O’Driscoll (capt), Gordon D’Arcy, Isa Nacewa; Shaun Berne, Chris Keane; Ronan McCormack, Bernard Jackman, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Nathan Hines, Kevin McLaughlin, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: John Fogarty, CJ van der Linde, Malcolm O’Kelly, Stephen Keogh, Simon Keogh, Jonathan Sexton, Luke Fitzgerald.