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Debutant Te’o Is One Of Eight Changes For Leinster

Debutant Te’o Is One Of Eight Changes For Leinster

After the Captain’s Run at the RDS this morning, Leinster head coach Matt O’Connor announced his team to face Edinburgh in the GUINNESS PRO12 on Friday (kick-off 7.35pm).

Kevin McLaughlin returns after a knee injury to captain the side from the back row, in one of eight changes to the team that beat Castres Olympique away in the European Champions Cup last weekend. He last featured in early September in the round 2 win over the Scarlets at the RDS.

Michael Bent once again starts in the front row, but swaps sides to loosehead with Tadhg Furlong coming in at tighthead prop. Richardt Strauss starts at hooker as he closes is on 100 caps for Leinster.

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Tom Denton makes his first start of the year in the second row with Wallaby Kane Douglas retained beside him.

Dominic Ryan once again selected at openside flanker and Jack Conan lines out at number 8 for his fifth appearance of the season.

There are three changes in the backs but both wingers, Darragh Fanning on the right and Luke Fitzgerald on the left, are retained along with full-back Zane Kirchner.

However, there is a new centre partnership for the province with Noel Reid selected at inside centre and newcomer Ben Te’o selected outside him for his senior debut. He played all 80 minutes last weekend for the Leinster ‘A’ team in their British & Irish Cup match against Carmarthen Quins.

The final change is in the half-backs as Luke McGrath gets the nod at scrum half with Jimmy Gopperth outside him in the number 10 jersey.

There are tickets still available for the game at www.leinsterrugby.ie/tickets and Leinster supporters are invited to visit the Haunted House where there will be tricks and treats for all concerned! Gates open at 6.05pm with kick-off at 7.35pm.

LEINSTER (v Edinburgh): Zane Kirchner; Darragh Fanning, Ben Te’o, Noel Reid, Luke Fitzgerald; Jimmy Gopperth, Luke McGrath; Michael Bent, Richardt Strauss, Tadhg Furlong, Tom Denton, Kane Douglas, Kevin McLaughlin (capt), Dominic Ryan, Jack Conan.

Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Ed Byrne, Peter Dooley, Ben Marshall, Dan Leavy, Isaac Boss, Steve Crosbie, Mick McGrath.