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Fitzgerald Is Leinster’s Only Change

Fitzgerald Is Leinster’s Only Change

After the Captain’s Run earlier today, Leinster head coach Leo Cullen announced his team to take on Ulster in the sold-out GUINNESS PRO12 semi-final at the RDS on Friday (kick-off 7.45pm).

There is only one change to the starting line-up from the bonus point win over Benetton Treviso, as Rob Kearney has failed to recover sufficiently from his ankle injury that forced him off during the first half.

As a result, Luke Fitzgerald returns to the left wing with Isa Nacewa captaining the side from full-back. With Fitzgerald starting on the left, that also means a switch for Dave Kearney who now slots in on the right wing. 

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Ben Te’o and Garry Ringrose are Leinster’s centre pairing for the 12th time this season as Te’o starts for his last time at the RDS before his summer move to Worcester Warriors. 

Eoin Reddan and Jonathan Sexton start together at half-back in what will be Sexton’s 125th appearance for his home province. The St. Mary’s College clubman has scored 1110 points to date and is in second place on the all time point scorers list (Felipe Contepomi is top with 1225). 

Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss and Mike Ross are once again selected to start in the front row. Hooker Strauss scored two tries last time out and Friday’s play-off fixture will mark his 130th Leinster cap. 

Behind them Devin Toner and Mick Kearney will combine in the second row with Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy and Jamie Heaslip completing the pack.

There are a few changes on the bench with Jack Conan returning from injury for his first game since February, while Ian Madigan and Zane Kirchner are also back into the mix with Madigan also playing his last game at the RDS before moving to Bordeaux Bègles in France. Should he be involved, Wexford man Tadhg Furlong will win his 50th cap for Leinster off the bench. 

With the game sold out and with three other events on in the RDS on Friday evening, supporters are encouraged to use public transport where possible as parking will be limited in and around the ground.

LEINSTER (v Ulster): Isa Nacewa (capt); Dave Kearney, Garry Ringrose, Ben Te’o, Luke Fitzgerald; Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Reddan; Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Mick Kearney, Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Peter Dooley, Tadhg Furlong, Ross Molony, Jack Conan, Luke McGrath, Ian Madigan, Zane Kirchner.