The Leinster team to face Aironi in Saturday evening’s RaboDirect PRO12 match at the RDS (kick-off 6pm) has been named.
Steven Sykes will make his competitive debut for Leinster. He forms a second row partnership with Ireland international Devin Toner in a pack which sees Ciaran Ruddock, who is set for his second provincial appearance, join his brother Rhys in the back row.
Jamie Hagan will combine with Richardt Strauss and Heinke van der Merwe in the front row, while Academy out-half Noel Reid comes in for his senior debut.
The 21-year-old Reid partners Cillian Willis at half-back in the only change to the back-line which started last weekend’s 15-10 victory away to the Scarlets.
This means that Luke Fitzgerald continues his centre partnership with Eoin O’Malley, while Isa Nacewa, who has kicked 45 points so far this season, wears the number 15 jersey once again.
Over 14,700 tickets have now been sold for Saturday’s game which will include the usual ‘Family Day’ activities.
Tickets will also be sold around the ground on the day and are still available online from www.leinsterrugby.ie, Spar (Donnybrook), the Leinster Rugby Store and Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.
LEINSTER (v Aironi Rugby): Isa Nacewa; Fionn Carr, Eoin O’Malley, Luke Fitzgerald, David Kearney; Noel Reid, Cillian Willis; Heinke van der Merwe, Richardt Strauss, Jamie Hagan, Steven Sykes, Devin Toner, Ciaran Ruddock, Rhys Ruddock (capt), Leo Auva’a.
Replacements: Jason Harris-Wright, Jack McGrath, Jack O’Connell, Damian Browne, Jordi Murphy, John Cooney, Ian Madigan, Brendan Macken.