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Three Changes For Leinster

Three Changes For Leinster

The Leinster team to face Munster in Saturday’s Magners League grand final at Thomond Park (kick-off 5.05pm) has been named.

There are three changes in all to Leinster’s starting line-up from last weekend’s Heineken Cup final with Ireland international Fergus McFadden coming in to partner Brian O’Driscoll at centre.

Jonathan Sexton, who has now scored 228 points in 18 Leinster appearances so far this season, links up with Eoin Reddan at half-back, while Luke Fitzgerald, Shane Horgan and Isa Nacewa have been named again in the back-three.

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In the pack, Heinke van der Merwe will make his 31st appearance of the season and is one of two changes up front as Shane Jennings comes in to link up with Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip in the back row.

Leo Cullen skippers the team and starts alongside Scotland’s Nathan Hines in the second row, while the province can call upon three Ireland internationals off the bench in Cian Healy, Kevin McLaughlin and Devin Toner.

Previewing the league decider in Limerick, hooker Richardt Strauss said: “We know that it is going to be a tough battle against Munster. We know them pretty well and they are a physical side.

“We have to try and stop their momentum, and if we can do that it will be a close game. We are a proud squad and are ready to take them on this weekend. We are hungry to win more trophies.

“We have been well managed all season and the coaching staff have looked after us in the run-in to the end of the season, so we’re all ready to go.”

LEINSTER (v Munster): Isa Nacewa; Shane Horgan, Brian O’Driscoll, Fergus McFadden, Luke Fitzgerald; Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Reddan; Heinke van der Merwe, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross, Leo Cullen (capt), Nathan Hines, Sean O’Brien, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Cian Healy, Stan Wright, Devin Toner, Kevin McLaughlin, Paul O’Donohoe, Ian Madigan, Eoin O’Malley.