Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has named his team for the visit of reigning GUINNESS PRO14 champions, the Scarlets, to the RDS on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3.15pm).
The Leinster management are again able to call on a mix of youth and experience as well as welcoming a number of players back in from Ireland camp, including back rower Jordi Murphy who will win his 100th Leinster cap when he runs out at the RDS.
Fresh from his Ireland debut last weekend, Jordan Larmour comes in for his 15th Leinster appearance of the season at full-back. Adam Byrne makes his first start since knee surgery having come off the bench last Friday in Edinburgh, while James Lowe fills the left wing berth.
It is the same combination as last week in the centre with former St. Michael’s College pupils Noel Reid and Rory O’Loughlin teaming up again, while Luke McGrath takes the captaincy reins at half-back alongside Ross Byrne, the PRO14’s current top scorer with 96 points.
Up front, Ed Byrne and Michael Bent are joined by Sean Cronin who came off the bench against Italy last weekend, with Ross Molony and Scott Fardy packing down behind them. Openside Jordi Murphy will hit the century mark alongside Josh Murphy and Max Deegan in the back row.
Murphy, the province’s latest centurion, made his debut in September 2011 against Glasgow Warriors in a narrow 23-19 loss at the RDS, coming off the bench early in the second half for Dominic Ryan. The former Blackrock College Senior Cup-winning captain has scored 18 tries for Leinster, won a PRO12 title in 2013/14 and has also won 18 Ireland caps and two Six Nations titles during that time.
Selected on the bench, Academy back rower Will Connors is in line for his first appearance at the RDS having made his debut in Scotland last weekend, while fellow Academy player Ciaran Frawley could win his first cap having been an unused replacement against Edinburgh.
LEINSTER (v Scarlets): Jordan Larmour; Adam Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin, Noel Reid, James Lowe; Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath (capt); Ed Byrne, Sean Cronin, Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Scott Fardy, Josh Murphy, Jordi Murphy, Max Deegan.
Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Peter Dooley, Oisin Heffernan, Ian Nagle, Will Connors, Nick McCarthy, Ciaran Frawley, Barry Daly.