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Leinster Make Two Changes For Wasps Showdown

Leinster Make Two Changes For Wasps Showdown

Leinster head coach Matt O’Connor has made two changes in personnel for Saturday’s much-anticipated European Champions Cup Pool 2 showdown with Wasps at the Ricoh Arena (kick-off 1pm).

As expected, number 8 and captain Jamie Heaslip has been declared fit to lead the side having been withdrawn early in the second half against Castres last weekend.

As announced earlier this week, the round 6 game comes a fraction too early for the returning Sean O’Brien and Cian Healy. The GUINNESS PRO12 clash with the Dragons on February 15 has been pencilled in as their return date for Leinster. This is also the case for Zane Kirchner and Rhys Ruddock.

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There is no change in the front row with Michael Bent, named in the Ireland RBS 6 Nations squad yesterday, again selected at loosehead prop beside two of the try scorers from last weekend – Sean Cronin at hooker and Martin Moore at tighthead.

Devin Toner plays in his 40th European game on Saturday with Kane Douglas (pictured below) in to partner him and Mike McCarthy starting from the bench.

The second change sees Dominic Ryan selected at blindside flanker and Ireland call-up Jack Conan among the replacements. On the openside Jordi Murphy starts his fifth game in a row having returned in November from shoulder surgery.

In the backs, it is as you were with Rob Kearney selected at full-back, Fergus McFadden starts his second Champions Cup game of the year on the right wing and Dave Kearney, the first try scorer last weekend, on the left wing.

Ian Madigan, who kicked seven from eight kicks last weekend, and Luke Fitzgerald continue their centre partnership, while Eoin Reddan and Jimmy Gopperth remain in place at half-back. The final change is on the bench and sees Isaac Boss come in for Luke McGrath.

The Wasps v Leinster game is live on BT Sport 1 which can viewed in Ireland through the Setanta Sports package. Alternatively it is live on RTÉ Radio 1, with highlights on TG4.

LEINSTER (v Wasps): Rob Kearney; Fergus McFadden, Luke Fitzgerald, Ian Madigan, Dave Kearney; Jimmy Gopperth, Eoin Reddan; Michael Bent, Sean Cronin, Martin Moore, Devin Toner, Kane Douglas, Dominic Ryan, Jordi Murphy, Jamie Heaslip (capt).

Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Jamie Hagan, Tadhg Furlong, Mike McCarthy, Jack Conan, Isaac Boss, Gordon D’Arcy, Darragh Fanning.