Captain Jonathan Sexton, Rob Kearney and Scott Fardy all come into the Leinster team which has been selected for Saturday’s GUINNESS PRO14 final against Glasgow Warriors at Celtic Park in Glasgow (kick-off 6.30pm).
Sexton and Kearney resume at out-half and full-back respectively, with the latter’s inclusion seeing Jordan Larmour, a try scorer during last year’s PRO14 final win over the Scarlets in Dublin, switching back to the right wing. It will be Kearney’s 210th Leinster appearance and Sexton’s 160th.
James Lowe, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw and Luke McGrath complete the same back-line which started against Saracens in the recent European decider. Winger Lowe’s late score against Munster last Saturday was his 11th try in 16 games so far this season.
GUINNESS PRO14 Dream Team lock Fardy continues in the second row alongside James Ryan, having replaced knee injury victim Devin Toner just before half-time during the 24-9 semi-final victory over Munster. Cian Healy, Tadhg Furlong and Sean Cronin, the province’s top try scorer this term with 13 tries, form the front row once again.
The unchanged loose forwards include vice-captain Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, last week’s man-of-the-match, and in-form number 8 Jack Conan. Ross Molony takes the vacant second row spot on the bench, with Nick McCarthy set for his final run-out in Leinster blue before his move to Munster.
Speaking at today’s pre-match press conference, head coach Leo Cullen commented: “(We’re) delighted to be here. I made my Ireland Schools debut back in 1995 in Glasgow against the Scottish Schoolboys and we have been coming here on a very regular basis to Glasgow with Leinster.
“To see the progression from Hughenden to Firhill to Scotstoun and to be playing a game here in Celtic Park is amazing to have been part of that progression. Leinster feel very privileged to be here and we’re looking forward to what will hopefully be a very good encounter between two very, very competitive bunches of players.
“Seanie (O’Brien) he has just been a little bit slower now, we will probably have a bit more of an update on him next week. You know he has been struggling a bit with a hip injury that has been ongoing for a while, which ruled him out of this week.”
Five-time champions Leinster are looking to match their achievement from 2014 by claiming back-to-back titles, while Glasgow are pushing to make it two wins from three PRO14 final appearances. Tickets start at just £25 for adults and £1 for kids. Visit www.pro14rugby.org/finaltickets.
LEINSTER (v Glasgow Warriors): Rob Kearney; Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Jonathan Sexton (capt), Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Scott Fardy, James Ryan, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.
Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Ed Byrne, Andrew Porter, Ross Molony, Max Deegan, Nick McCarthy, Ross Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin.