After the Captain’s Run at UCD, Leinster head coach Matt O’Connor has announced his team to face the Scarlets in Llanelli on Saturday evening (kick-off 5.15pm).
There are seven changes to the Leinster side originally selected to start against the Ospreys last Friday in the 9-9 draw in Swansea.
Having been retained by Ireland last weekend although not involved in the matchday squad against England, Luke Fitzgerald (pictured below) starts on the left wing with Fergus McFadden on the right wing and Zane Kirchner at full-back.
It is the same centre partnership with Gordon D’Arcy featuring at inside centre for his 255th appearance in blue while outside him Ben Te’o wears the number 13 jersey. There was no suspension imposed on Te’o following a disciplinary hearing yesterday. Eoin Reddan and Jimmy Gopperth pair up again at half-back.
There are five changes to the pack named to start last weekend. It is a completely new front row with internationals Cian Healy, Sean Cronin and Martin Moore all starting. It is Healy’s first start for Leinster since the opening day trip to Glasgow Warriors in September.
Like Fitzgerald, Mike McCarthy was also retained by the Irish management last weekend, and comes into the second row to partner Kane Douglas who makes his 20th appearance for the province.
In the back row Rhys Ruddock captains the side from blindside flanker, with Dominic Ryan starting at openside. Jack Conan is once again selected at the base of the scrum having recovered from the ankle injury that forced him out of the team before kick-off last Friday.
LEINSTER (v Scarlets): Zane Kirchner; Fergus McFadden, Ben Te’o, Gordon D’Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald; Jimmy Gopperth, Eoin Reddan; Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Martin Moore, Mike McCarthy, Kane Douglas, Rhys Ruddock (capt), Dominic Ryan, Jack Conan.
Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Michael Bent, Tadhg Furlong, Tom Denton, Josh van der Flier, Isaac Boss, Noel Reid, Dave Kearney.