The Leinster squad to face Connacht in Saturday’s Magners League derby at the RDS (kick-off 4.30pm) has been named.
Leo Cullen, Shane Jennings, Rob Kearney, Eoin Reddan and Jonathan Sexton return from RBS 6 Nations duty with Ireland to join the extended Leinster panel for the visit of Connacht to the RDS this weekend.
The quintet join the likes of Stephen Keogh and Eoin O’Malley, who have been in excellent recent form, as well as Fergus McFadden. The talented centre has amassed 36 points in his last two Magners League outings.
Two notable absentees from the squad are injured centres Brian O’Driscoll (medial knee ligament) and Gordon D’Arcy (groin muscle), while prop Cian Healy and number 8 Jamie Heaslip will also sit out this weekend’s derby match.
Promising flanker Eoin Sheriff joins fellow Leinster Academy players Andrew Conway and Rhys Ruddock, who are fresh from their involvement with the Ireland Under-20s, in the province’s provisional panel.
The squad will be reduced down to the team and replacements on Friday afternoon.
Over 12,500 tickets have been sold for Saturday’s interprovincial game and tickets are on sale now on www.leinsterrugby.ie and from Spar (Donnybrook), the Leinster Rugby Store (Donnybrook) and Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.
Meanwhile, the fourth annual ‘Ladies Night’ will take place before and after the game on Saturday – in aid of Action Breast Cancer – in the RDS’ Shelbourne Hall.
Over 200 supporters have already registered for the pre-match reception which will feature a drinks reception sponsored by Bulmers, live music, beauty and hair tips and goodie bags. Members of the Leinster squad will also be in attendance.
Everyone is invited back to the Shelbourne Hall after the match for more live music and a bumper raffle. Supporters are asked to pay a €;10 suggested admission charge, in addition to the match ticket, and all proceeds will go to Action Breast Cancer.
You can still register now for the pre-match event, simply e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEINSTER Squad (v Connacht) – Backs (15): Shaun Berne, Andrew Conway, Girvan Dempsey, Chris Keane, David Kearney, Rob Kearney, Michael Keating, Simon Keogh, Ian Madigan, Fergus McFadden, Isa Nacewa, Paul O’Donohoe, Eoin O’Malley, Eoin Reddan, Jonathan Sexton.
Forwards (17): Leo Cullen, John Fogarty, Nathan Hines, Trevor Hogan, Bernard Jackman, Shane Jennings, Stephen Keogh, Ronan McCormack, Malcolm O’Kelly, Mike Ross, Rhys Ruddock, Paul Ryan, Eoin Sheriff, Richardt Strauss, Devin Toner, CJ van der Linde, Stan Wright.