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Rob Kearney Reaches 200-Cap Landmark For Leinster

Rob Kearney Reaches 200-Cap Landmark For Leinster

The Leinster team to play Munster in Saturday’s GUINNESS PRO14 derby encounter at the Aviva Stadium (kick-off 6pm) has been named by head coach Leo Cullen.

It will be a memorable day for Louth man Rob Kearney as he makes his 200th appearance for his home province. The Ireland and Lions full-back made his Leinster debut in September 2005 away to the Ospreys, scoring a try in a 22-20 loss.

Since then the four-time Six Nations winner has become one of the most decorated players in Irish Rugby with 199 Leinster caps, 86 Ireland caps and eight caps for the British & Irish Lions.

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It could also be a very special occasion for Luke McGrath who has been named among the replacements and is due to win cap 100 if introduced. McGrath made his debut in May 2012 off the bench against the Dragons and the UCD clubman has also represented Ireland on six occasions.

There are 11 personnel changes to the side that saw off Connacht 20-3 in Galway last Saturday, with regular captain and out-half Jonathan Sexton one of the players swapped out ahead of the start of the Heineken Champions Cup next week.

With Kearney in the number 15 jersey, Fergus McFadden slots back in on the right wing with New Zealander James Lowe continuing on the left. Robbie Henshaw and Rory O’Loughlin, who went close to scoring a late try against Connacht, are selected together in the centre with Ross Byrne and Jamison Gibson-Park the starting half-backs.

Prop Jack McGrath makes his first appearance of the season having recovered from a knee injury. James Tracy and Michael Bent complete the front row, while Devin Toner becomes the third most-capped Leinster player of all-time, winning his 222nd cap in the second row alongside the returning James Ryan.

Rhys Ruddock captains the defending PRO14 champions from the back row with Dan Leavy and Sean O’Brien completing the pack as they make their first Leinster starts since last May and April respectively. O’Brien had a successful return from shoulder surgery as a first half replacement against Connacht.

Tickets for Leinster v Munster remain on general sale. Click here to buy now from Ticketmaster.ie.

LEINSTER (v Munster): Rob Kearney; Fergus McFadden, Rory O’Loughlin, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Jack McGrath, James Tracy, Michael Bent, Devin Toner, James Ryan, Rhys Ruddock (capt), Dan Leavy, Sean O’Brien.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Andrew Porter, Mick Kearney, Josh van der Flier, Luke McGrath, Noel Reid, Dave Kearney.