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Cronin And Ruddock Return As Leinster Make Eight Changes

Cronin And Ruddock Return As Leinster Make Eight Changes

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has announced his team to take on the Ospreys in Saturday’s GUINNESS PRO12 match at the Liberty Stadium (kick-off 3pm).

There are eight personnel changes to the side that accounted for Wasps in last week’s Champions Cup quarter-final but only one – Adam Byrne – is injury enforced.

There are also a number of positional changes in the back-line with captain Isa Nacewa moving to full-back from the left wing, with Fergus McFadden starting for only the fifth time this season on the left and Rory O’Loughlin coming in on the right.

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Robbie Henshaw starts again at number 12 with Springbok Zane Kirchner outside him. There is a new half-back combination with Jamison Gibson Park and Joey Carbery teaming up together. Having started at full-back for the last four matches, it is Carbery’s first start at out-half since February’s home game against Edinburgh.

Jack McGrath and Tadhg Furlong continue at loosehead and tighthead prop respectively and having made a successful comeback for Leinster ‘A’ last weekend against Ulster ‘A’, Sean Cronin comes in for his first senior start since injuring his hamstring against Zebre in January.

Devin Toner is partnered in the second row this week by Clontarf’s Mick Kearney, while the fit-again Rhys Ruddock is back at blindside flanker, Josh van der Flier returns at openside and Jack Conan, one of the province’s try scorers against Wasps, is retained at number 8.

On the bench, prop Mike Ross is in line to make his 150th senior appearance for Leinster having made his debut also in Wales against the Scarlets in September 2009.

LEINSTER (v Ospreys): Isa Nacewa (capt); Rory O’Loughlin, Zane Kirchner, Robbie Henshaw, Fergus McFadden; Joey Carbery, Jamison Gibson Park; Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner, Mick Kearney, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.

Replacements: James Tracy, Peter Dooley, Mike Ross, Ian Nagle, Dan Leavy, Nick McCarthy, Ross Byrne, Dave Kearney.