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Macken And Gopperth To Start For Leinster

Macken And Gopperth To Start For Leinster

The Leinster team to face the Ospreys in Saturday evening’s opening Heineken Cup clash at the Liberty Stadium (kick-off 6pm) has been named.

There is a new look at half-back where Ireland scrum half Isaac Boss will link up with Jimmy Gopperth, who makes his first Heineken Cup appearance for the province at out-half.

It is a case of youth and experience in the centre where Leinster’s most-capped player Gordon D’Arcy, who is set to make his 226th appearance, will partner 22-year-old European debutant Brendan Macken.

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David Kearney and Fergus McFadden will be joined in a strong back-three by Rob Kearney, who is set for his 135th outing in Leinster colours.

The pack is unchanged from the one that started against Munster last weekend with Jamie Heaslip once more leading the team. The number 8 will be flanked in the back row by Kevin McLaughlin and Sean O’Brien.

Cian Healy will again partner fellow Ireland internationals Sean Cronin and Mike Ross in the front row, with Devin Toner locking down alongside Mike McCarthy.

Incidentally, Ireland duo McLaughlin and McFadden will be making their 99 career appearances for their home province in Swansea.

LEINSTER (v Ospreys): Rob Kearney; Fergus McFadden, Brendan Macken, Gordon D’Arcy, David Kearney; Jimmy Gopperth, Isaac Boss; Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Mike McCarthy, Kevin McLaughlin, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip (capt).

Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Jack McGrath, Martin Moore, Quinn Roux, Rhys Ruddock, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Luke Fitzgerald.