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Ten Changes For Leinster

Ten Changes For Leinster

The Leinster team to face Connacht in Saturday evening’s RaboDirect PRO12 derby clash at the Sportsground (kick-off 7.15pm) has been named.

Head coach Matt O’Connor has made ten changes to the team that took to the pitch last weekend at the RDS, with only two backs and three forwards retained from the side that accounted for Ulster.

With Zane Kirchner moving to the right wing from full-back, Dave Kearney drops down to the replacements with his brother Rob taking the number 15 jersey from the South African.

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Luke Fitzgerald, who is due to win his 120th cap on Saturday, continues his fine run of form on the left wing.

With 402 Leinster caps between them, back in to the centre come the experienced duo of Gordon D’Arcy and Brian O’Driscoll. Eoin Reddan starts at scrum half against his former province, with Ian Madigan beside him at out-half.

The selected pack also sees a number of fresh faces plus a positional switch in the back row.

Man-of-the-match from the Ulster game, Jordi Murphy, is positioned at openside flanker, with captain Jamie Heaslip returning at number 8. Rhys Ruddock is once again selected on the blindside.

Former Connacht hooker Sean Cronin, who spent three years at the Sportsground before joining Leinster, is also selected to start against his former province.

Joining Cronin in the front row will be Martin Moore and Jack McGrath, who earned his 50th cap off the bench against Ulster.

Finally in the second row, Devin Toner and Tom Denton start in place of Leo Cullen and Mike McCarthy. McCarthy, another ex-Connacht player, is named among the replacements.

LEINSTER (v Connacht): Rob Kearney; Zane Kirchner, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald; Ian Madigan, Eoin Reddan; Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin, Martin Moore, Devin Toner, Tom Denton, Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy, Jamie Heaslip (capt).

Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Jack O’Connell, Mike Ross, Mike McCarthy, Dominic Ryan, Isaac Boss, Jimmy Gopperth, Dave Kearney.