Jonathan Sexton and Shane Jennings will make their long-awaited returns for Leinster at the RDS Saturday when the province take on Brive in Pool 6 of the Heineken Cup (kick-off 6pm).
Recovered from the hand injury he sustained against South Africa, out-half Jonathan Sexton will make his first appearance for Leinster since Halloween night, while flanker Shane Jennings is back in the blue of his native province for the first time since picking up a 12-week ban in October’s opening round defeat to London Irish.
Saturday’s match will see Shane Horgan become the first Leinster player to reach the 75 Heineken Cup appearance landmark and the big winger is named in a back-line which features six Ireland internationals.
Brian O’Driscoll partners Gordon D’Arcy at centre, with Eoin Reddan lining up at half-back alongside the returning Sexton who will be making his 50th appearance for the province.
In the pack, prop Cian Healy, who is also set to chalk up a half-century of Leinster caps, has been named in the front row alongside hooker John Fogarty and Stan Wright, with Leo Cullen leading the side from the second row.
The influential Jennings starts in the back row alongside Kevin McLaughlin and Jamie Heaslip.
South African international CJ van der Linde has recovered from injury to take his place on a strong-looking replacements bench which includes Ireland internationals Girvan Dempsey, Bernard Jackman, Sean O’Brien, Malcolm O’Kelly and Mike Ross.
Following a number of returns from Brive, almost 17,000 tickets have now been sold for Saturday’s Pool 6 tie and tickets are still available to purchase here and from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide, and they can be bought too from the Leinster Rugby Store and Spar shop in Donnybrook.
Ticketmaster will also be selling tickets at the RDS from 3pm on Saturday.
* Staff from Dublin’s 98, Newstalk, Spin and Today FM will be collecting in and around the RDS in aid of Concern’s Haiti Earthquake Response Appeal on Saturday evening. Please give generously if you can. Concern have staff on the ground in Haiti and are distributing food, water, shelter materials and medical supplies.
LEINSTER (v Brive): Rob Kearney; Shane Horgan, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Isa Nacewa; 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, CJ van der Linde, Malcolm O’Kelly, Sean O’Brien, Paul O’Donohoe, Shaun Berne, Girvan Dempsey.