After the Captain’s Run this morning, Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has announced the team to take on the Scarlets at the RDS on Friday night (kick-off 7.35pm).
It is a completely new starting line-up from the one that beat Benetton Treviso last Sunday. There are first senior starts for Lansdowne’s Cian Kelleher on the left wing and for UCD’s James Tracy at hooker.
A number of internationals who were away during the recent Rugby World Cup also return for Leo Cullen’s men.
Full-back Rob Kearney starts for the province for the first time this season have played four games during the World Cup, scoring three tries in the process.
He is joined in the back-three by fellow returnee Zane Kirchner, who was part of the South Africa squad that secured a third placed finish at England 2015. Kelleher, on the left wing, has made three appearances this season from the bench having made his debut during last season’s game away to Edinburgh.
Noel Reid and Garry Ringrose form a new-look centre partnership. Reid has played in all of Leinster’s games to date this season, notching up 430 minutes in the PRO12. This is the first time that Ringrose will be outside him from the start. The 20-year-old has scored one try in four starts to date and was man-of-the-match against Glasgow Warriors.
Two Ireland internationals combine at half-back where Isaac Boss starts and Ian Madigan comes in for his seasonal bow in the number 10 jersey.
A completely new pack sees Tracy make his first start at hooker. The 24-year-old has made all of his six appearances to date from the bench, including a try-scoring cameo away to the Scarlets. Cian Healy is to Tracy’s left, with the returning Mike Ross making his first appearance of the season at tighthead.
Tom Denton and Devin Toner pack down together in the second row, while Dominic Ryan is joined by returning internationals Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip in the back row. Heaslip will captain the side from the base of the scrum as he wins his 203rd cap for Leinster.
Ticket sales have gone over the 13,500 mark. Leinster v Scarlets tickets are still available at leinsterrugby.ie, or on matchday from the ticket office which is open from 6.05pm.
LEINSTER (v Scarlets): Rob Kearney; Zane Kirchner, Garry Ringrose, Noel Reid, Cian Kelleher; Ian Madigan, Isaac Boss; Cian Healy, James Tracy, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Tom Denton, Dominic Ryan, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip (capt).
Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Jack McGrath, Martin Moore, Hayden Triggs, Dan Leavy, Luke McGrath, Jonathan Sexton, Ben Te’o.