Ahead of the Captain’s Run in UCD this afternoon, Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has named his team for the trip to the top of the table Scarlets in the GUINNESS PRO12 on Friday (kick-off 7.35pm).
There are five changes in total to the side that started the round 3 game against the Dragons which Leinster won 37-13, with two alterations in the backs and three in the forwards.
There is no change to the back-three with Isa Nacewa captaining the province from full-back and Garry Ringrose and Fergus McFadden occupying the wing berths. All three players were on the scoreboard last time out with McFadden, in particular, impressing off the tee with six successful kicks from six attempts.
It is an all-Clontarf midfield combination of Noel Reid and Colm O’Shea, with Ben Te’o not making the squad having picked up a minor knock at training on Wednesday.
Isaac Boss wins his 125th cap for Leinster at half-back, while outside him Ross Byrne starts his first game for Leinster having come off the bench on two occasions already this season. The UCD starlet was the Ireland Under-20s’ starting out-half during last season’s Six Nations campaign.
Bryan Byrne makes his first start of the season at hooker having come off the bench against Edinburgh and Cardiff Blues, with Ireland internationals Michael Bent and Martin Moore (pictured below) either side of him.
With Mike McCarthy called up to the Ireland Rugby World Cup squad, Tom Denton comes back into the second row to partner Ross Molony.
The final change sees Dan Leavy start for the second time this season in place of Rhys Ruddock who has also been called up to the RWC squad. Dominic Ryan starts at blindside flanker with Josh van der Flier completing the pack at openside.
Among the replacements, Jamie Hagan will win his 50th cap for Leinster should he make an appearance off the bench, while Wexford man Tony Ryan is in line to make his debut having impressed for the Leinster ‘A’ team against Munster ‘A’ last week. Another Clontarf clubman, Mick McGrath, is also in line for his first appearance of the season.
Tickets for the Scarlets v Leinster clash are still available. Ireland fans looking to start a great weekend in Wales with some rugby at Parc y Scarlets can get tickets by clicking here.
LEINSTER (v Scarlets): Isa Nacewa; Fergus McFadden, Colm O’Shea, Noel Reid, Garry Ringrose; Ross Byrne, Isaac Boss; Michael Bent, Bryan Byrne, Martin Moore, Ross Molony, Tom Denton, Dominic Ryan, Josh van der Flier, Dan Leavy.
Replacements: James Tracy, Peter Dooley, Jamie Hagan, Tadhg Beirne, Tony Ryan, Luke McGrath, Cathal Marsh, Mick McGrath.