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Madigan To Hit The Century Mark Against Zebre

Madigan To Hit The Century Mark Against Zebre

Leinster return to the RDS on Friday night after a break of three weeks to welcome Zebre in round 17 of the RaboDirect PRO12 (kick-off 7.15pm).

Head coach Matt O’Connor has named an experienced side and has 11 full internationals in his starting line-up with another three held in reserve on the bench.

There are two changes to the back-line that played against the Glasgow Warriors three weeks ago, with Isaac Boss coming in at scrum half and Eoin Reddan benched after his exploits in Paris last weekend.

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Luke Fitzgerald also makes a welcome return having been close to starting on a number of occasions in the last few months.

Beside Boss is birthday boy and the latest member of Leinster’s 100-cap club, Ian Madigan, who will celebrate on the double at the RDS.

Madigan, who made his Leinster debut in May 2009 against the Dragons, has 446 points to his credit in that time, which includes 19 tries in all competitions. He turns 25 on Friday.

There is a completely new front row selected with Michael Bent, Richardt Strauss and Tadhg Furlong on from the start.

Sean Cronin and Jack McGrath have failed to shake off the minor knocks they picked up against France, while another of Ireland’s Six Nations winners, prop Martin Moore, will start on the bench.

Leo Cullen captains the side from the second row alongside Mike McCarthy, while in the back row Kevin McLaughlin is back after the injury sustained away to the Cardiff Blues, with Dominic Ryan at openside flanker and Jordi Murphy at number 8.

Leinster played Zebre as recently as last month in Parma where they recorded a 31-8 bonus point victory, while in the corresponding fixture last year Leinster won 37-7 in front of nearly 16,000 spectators at the RDS.

Tickets for the Leinster v Zebre round 17 game are still available at www.leinsterrugby.ie.

LEINSTER (v Zebre): Zane Kirchner; Darragh Fanning, Fergus McFadden, Noel Reid, Luke Fitzgerald; Ian Madigan, Isaac Boss; Michael Bent, Richardt Strauss, Tadhg Furlong, Leo Cullen (capt), Mike McCarthy, Kevin McLaughlin, Dominic Ryan, Jordi Murphy.

Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Jack O’Connell, Martin Moore, Tom Denton, Shane Jennings, Eoin Reddan, Jimmy Gopperth, Brendan Macken.