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Sexton To Captain Leinster Against Zebre

Sexton To Captain Leinster Against Zebre

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has announced his team to take on Zebre in the GUINNESS PRO12 at the RDS on Friday (kick-off 7.35pm).

There are seven changes in total to the side that accounted for Ulster in round 12 last weekend as Leinster finished out the calendar year unbeaten at their Ballsbridge home.

In the backs, three internationals return with Zane Kirchner taking up his place at full-back. Adam Byrne and Rory O’Loughlin continue on the wings.

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The second change sees Robbie Henshaw come in to partner Garry Ringrose in the centre. The final switch behind the scrum is at half-back where the fit-again Jonathan Sexton captains the province from number 10 and partners Luke McGrath who continues at scrum half.

In the pack, Cian Healy and James Tracy start alongside Michael Bent who will win his 75th cap for the province. Devin Toner and Hayden Triggs are again selected as the second row combination but there are two final additions in the back row.

Dan Leavy starts at blindside flanker, with Jack Conan coming in at the base of the scrum. Sean O’Brien starts again this week but with Leavy in the number 6 shirt, the Tullow man swaps across and fills the openside berth in the final PRO12 game before attention turns to the Champions Cup.

On the bench, experienced hooker Sean Cronin is in line to win his 125th cap for the province should he be introduced at some stage.

Leinster v Zebre tickets are still available at leinsterrugby.ie/tickets and with other events also on in and around the RDS on Friday evening, supporters are advised that parking will be at a premium and that public transport should be used where possible. 

LEINSTER (v Zebre): Zane Kirchner; Adam Byrne, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Rory O’Loughlin; Jonathan Sexton (capt), Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, James Tracy, Michael Bent, Devin Toner, Hayden Triggs, Dan Leavy, Sean O’Brien, Jack Conan.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Tadhg Furlong, Rhys Ruddock, Jamie Heaslip, Jamison Gibson Park, Ross Byrne, Noel Reid.