After the Captain’s Run this morning at the RDS, Leinster head coach Matt O’Connor has announced his team to face Connacht on Friday’s GUINNESS PRO12 derby encounter (kick-off 7.35pm).
There are seven changes in total to the team that accounted for Harlequins in the European Champions Cup last weekend, including a number of welcome returns from injury.
Two of the changes are in the backs with Dave Kearney back from injury to take his place on the left wing, with Zane Kirchner on the right and Kearney’s older brother Rob again selected at full-back.
The other change is in the centre with Noel Reid coming in to partner Luke Fitzgerald. Isaac Boss and Jimmy Gopperth remain in place at half-back.
There are five changes in the pack with a completely new front row of Michael Bent, hooker Aaron Dundon and Tadhg Furlong selected.
It is as you were in the second row with Devin Toner and Kane Douglas in the engine room, while there are two changes in the back row. Shane Jennings (pictured above) returns from injury to win his 201st Leinster cap, while Kevin McLaughlin starts at blindside flanker and Jamie Heaslip captains the side from number 8.
On the bench, young South African prop Maks van Dyk (22) is in line to make his first appearance for Leinster having signed last week on a short-term contract.
LEINSTER (v Connacht): Rob Kearney; Zane Kirchner, Luke Fitzgerald, Noel Reid, Dave Kearney; Jimmy Gopperth, Isaac Boss; Michael Bent, Aaron Dundon, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner, Kane Douglas, Kevin McLaughlin, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip (capt).
Replacements: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Maks van Dyk, Jack Conan, Jordi Murphy, Luke McGrath, Cathal Marsh, Gordon D’Arcy.