Leinster coach Joe Schmidt has confirmed an extended 25-man squad to face Racing Metro 92 in Saturday’s Heineken Cup Pool 2 clash at the RDS (kick-off 1.30pm).
The Leinster management will announce their starting line-up and replacements on Friday afternoon after the Captain’s Run.
Joe Schmidt’s 25-man squad includes long-term absentee Leo Cullen who has been sidelined since suffering a dislocated shoulder against Edinburgh last May.
Leinster’s regular captain is hoping to make Leinster’s starting line-up, along with out-half Jonathan Sexton who made his comeback from a quad muscle injury as a replacement against Munster last Saturday.
There are seven potential Heineken Cup debutants in the extended panel – Ian Madigan, Mariano Galarza, Jason Harris-Wright, Dominic Ryan, Simon Shawe, Richardt Strauss and Heinke van der Merwe.
In memory of the late Moss Keane, a minute’s silence will take place before Saturday afternoon’s game at the RDS.
Keen to face the French Championship leaders this weekend, flanker Shane Jennings said: “It’s going to be a good challenge, these are the games we want and it’s good getting back to the RDS and having a good, big team from France coming over.
“We played very, very well (against Munster) and it was good to see because we needed it.
“We need to carry that in now and get a bit of confidence from that and take the good things that we did in the game because we’re playing against a very, very good team.
“We’re going to have to do a lot of good work as they are a very big, very physical team that are flying in the Top 14 at the moment. It’s a big week and we’re looking forward to it.
“9They’re strong, very strong. Apart from the French teams, you’ve got Saracens in the pool who are a massive club and they’ve recruited really well and they’ve a good squad over there.
“I think the obvious big name is Clermont Auvergne, but people realise how good Racing and Sarries are, so we’ve really got to concentrate on this weekend, hopefully put in a good performance and if we can do that then we can gain some momentum.”
Over 16,700 tickets have been sold for the Leinster-Racing tie and tickets are still available (priced €;10 to €;60) online here, from Spar (Donnybrook) and the Leinster Rugby Store (Donnybrook).
Tickets will also be on sale at the gate on the day from the Ticketmaster box offices (located on Anglesea Road and Simmonscourt Road) from 9am.
LEINSTER Squad (v Racing Metro 92) – Backs (11): Isaac Boss, Gordon D’Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald, Shane Horgan, Rob Kearney, Ian Madigan, Fergus McFadden, Isa Nacewa, Brian O’Driscoll, Eoin Reddan, Jonathan Sexton.
Forwards (14): Leo Cullen, Mariano Galarza, Jason Harris-Wright, Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Nathan Hines, Shane Jennings, Sean O’Brien, Mike Ross, Dominic Ryan, Simon Shawe, Richardt Strauss, Devin Toner, Heinke van der Merwe.