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Leinster To Field Much-Changed Side Against Connacht

Leinster To Field Much-Changed Side Against Connacht

Jack Conan, pictured in possession against La Rochelle, and Andrew Porter will both start for Leinster against Connacht this weekend ©INPHO/Dave Winter

Following their Heineken Champions Cup exit, there are ten personnel changes to the Leinster team to play Connacht at the Sportsground on Saturday (kick-off 7.35pm).

Three of Leinster’s 2021 British & Irish Lions contingent are included for the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup fixture – Andrew Porter and Jack Conan in the pack, and Tadhg Furlong on the bench.

Cian Kelleher, a former Connacht player, and Dave Kearney join Hugo Keenan in the back-three, with Garry Ringrose partnered this week, in midfield, by Ciaran Frawley.

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Ross Byrne and captain Luke McGrath continue together at half-back, behind a pack that has number 8 Conan as the only starting forward retained from last Sunday’s semi-final defeat to La Rochelle.

Rhys Ruddock’s calf injury brings Josh Murphy back into the starting line-up, filling the blindside berth with Scott Penny at openside.

Porter packs down with Peter Dooley and hooker James Tracy in the front row, and the PRO14 champions swap in Ross Molony and the retiring Scott Fardy at lock.

LEINSTER (v Connacht): Hugo Keenan; Cian Kelleher, Garry Ringrose, Ciaran Frawley, Dave Kearney; Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath (capt); Peter Dooley, James Tracy, Andrew Porter, Ross Molony, Scott Fardy, Josh Murphy, Scott Penny, Jack Conan.

Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Ed Byrne, Tadhg Furlong, Ryan Baird, Josh van der Flier, Rowan Osborne, Rory O’Loughlin, Jordan Larmour.