The Leinster team to face Connacht in Saturday evening’s RaboDirect PRO12 derby match at the RDS (kick-off 6.45pm) has been named.
The province’s management have opted to freshen things up for the visit of Connacht following the squad’s Heineken Cup exertions over the last fortnight.
Luke Fitzgerald starts at outside centre in a new midfield partnership alongside Noel Reid for the interprovincial clash.
Fitzgerald will make his 113th appearance for the province and he is joined in the back-line by fellow Ireland internationals Ian Madigan and Eoin Reddan who will be the starting half-backs this weekend.
Michael Bent will make his first start this season in a front row which includes Sean Cronin and Jack McGrath, who was called up to the Ireland squad for the GUINNESS Series earlier this week.
McGrath is one of two uncapped players in the pack alongside Quinn Roux and the team will again be led by number 8 Jamie Heaslip, who continues in the back row alongside Kevin McLaughlin and the in-form Sean O’Brien.
Shane Jennings has recovered from injury to take his place on a strong-looking replacements bench which includes the likes of Isaac Boss, Jimmy Gopperth, Mike McCarthy and South African international Zane Kirchner for the first time since his recent arrival.
Tickets sales for Saturday’s match are approaching the 16,000 mark. Tickets are on sale now online here and are also available from Active Sports (Blackrock), Spar (Donnybrook) and Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.
There will be specially themed Halloween events taking place around the ground before the match on Saturday including a Haunted House, trick or treat giveaways, vouchers and prizes for the best adult, family and fancy dress costume.
Events will start at 5pm when gates open and the game gets underway at 6.45pm. Adult tickets are priced at €;30, children’s tickets are €;10 and a family of four can gain admission for just €;70.
LEINSTER (v Connacht): Rob Kearney; Fergus McFadden, Luke Fitzgerald, Noel Reid, David Kearney; Ian Madigan, Eoin Reddan; Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin, Michael Bent, Devin Toner, Quinn Roux, Kevin McLaughlin, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip (capt).
Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Jack O’Connell, Martin Moore, Mike McCarthy, Shane Jennings, Isaac Boss, Jimmy Gopperth, Zane Kirchner.