Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has named his team for Saturday’s GUINNESS PRO12 final against Connacht at BT Murrayfield (kick-off 5.30pm).
There are two changes to the side that accounted for Ulster in the play-offs last weekend, with Isa Nacewa and Devin Toner missing out and a further change on the bench.
Captain Nacewa has been ruled out with an arm injury suffered in the game against Ulster. While that injury came back clear from the initial X-ray, a subsequent scan on Monday showed damage had been done to an older injury and in particular to one of the screws that he has in the plate in his arm which affected his ability to grip. As a result Jamie Heaslip, the province’s vice-captain, will lead the team in Edinburgh.
With Nacewa absent from the back-line, Rob Kearney returns from the ankle injury suffered in the round 22 win over Benetton Treviso. His brother Dave continues on the right wing, with Luke Fitzgerald on the left.
Ben Te’o will make his last appearance for Leinster in the centre with Academy centre Garry Ringrose outside him once again. Eoin Reddan will win his 140th cap in Leinster colours at scrum half with Jonathan Sexton at number 10.
In the pack Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss and Mike Ross, who were all announced in Joe Schmidt’s Ireland squad to tour South Africa during the week, combine in the front row, and Ross Molony and Mick Kearney will pack down behind them in the second row.
In the back row, Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy and skipper Heaslip complete the pack. With Molony starting, Hayden Triggs comes on to the bench in line to win his 15th cap with Luke McGrath set to win his 50th cap should he be introduced.
LEINSTER (v Connacht): Rob Kearney; Dave Kearney, Garry Ringrose, Ben Te’o, Luke Fitzgerald; Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Reddan; Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross, Ross Molony, Mick Kearney, Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy, Jamie Heaslip (capt).
Replacements: Sean Cronin, Peter Dooley, Tadhg Furlong, Hayden Triggs, Jack Conan, Luke McGrath, Ian Madigan, Zane Kirchner.