Fit-again winger Adam Byrne will make his first appearance in almost two years when Leinster entertain Zebre at the RDS on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 1pm).
Tickets for the United Rugby Championship game are still on sale here with capacity for the game capped at 75% of the stadium’s total. The latest Government guidelines for Covid-19 are available here.
Luke McGrath will captain the province for the first time this season, and there are 13 changes to the team that struggled to see of the Dragons’ challenge in Newport.
There is a new back-three this weekend, Jimmy O’Brien making his first appearance of the season at full-back, with the aforementioned Byrne on the right wing and Jordan Larmour back from injury on the left.
Byrne is also back from a number of significant injuries – most notably, hamstring and quad – and it is his first involvement with Leinster since December 2019 when he started against Munster.
There is a new centre combination also with Skerries man Ciaran Frawley in the number 12 jersey and Naas youngster Jamie Osborne outside him.
McGrath is partnered by Harry Byrne who returns from a minor foot injury to start his first match of the season.
Michael Ala’alatoa and Rhys Ruddock are the only players retained in the starting XV, with the latter linking up with Dan Leavy and Scott Penny who both start their first games of the season.
Ala’alatoa will make his third start in a row, experiencing the RDS for the first time, and Ed Byrne, Sean Cronin, Devin Toner and Ryan Baird completing the tight five.
On the bench, Ronan Kelleher is back involved with Leinster for the first time this season having toured South Africa with the British & Irish Lions during the summer.
LEINSTER (v Zebre): Jimmy O’Brien; Adam Byrne, Jamie Osborne, Ciaran Frawley, Jordan Larmour; Harry Byrne, Luke McGrath (capt); Ed Byrne, Sean Cronin, Michael Ala’alatoa, Devin Toner, Ryan Baird, Dan Leavy, Scott Penny, Rhys Ruddock.
Replacements: Ronan Kelleher, Peter Dooley, Cian Healy, Ross Molony, Max Deegan, Nick McCarthy, Jonathan Sexton, Rob Russell.