LEINSTER HAVE PICKED a strong XV for their RaboDirect Pro12 clash with Munster, with one glaring omission. Both Cian Healy and Jack McGrath miss out through injuries so Michael Bent will start at loose-head.
Bent, who was famously called into the Ireland squad last season before winning his first Leinster cap, will start for the Blues at the Aviva Stadium, on Saturday, with Jack O’Connell as back-up. The New Zealander is Ireland qualified and won two Test caps at tight-head, against South Africa and Argentina, in 2012.
The Leinster backline is a formidable one, with Brian O’Driscoll partnering Gordon D’Arcy in midfield and Luke Fitzgerald and Fergus McFadden on the wings. Rob Kearney is named fullback while the half-back pairing is Ian Madigan and Eoin Reddan.
Source: James Crombie/INPHO
Bent is joined by Six Nations-winning tight-head Mike Ross and Richardt Strauss. Devin Toner is joined by Mike McCarthy in the second row while Kevin McLaughlin and Shane Jennings welcome Jamie Heaslip to the back row.
Dave Kearney and Rhys Ruddock do not make the squad, nor does Marty Moore. Sean O’Brien is a long-term injury but has resumed light training with the squad. He does not expect to play again until next season after dislocating his shoulder late last year.
LEINSTER: R Kearney; F McFadden, B O’Driscoll, G D’Arcy, L Fitzgerald; I Madigan, E Reddan; M Bent, R Strauss, M Ross; D Toner, M McCarthy; K McLaughlin, S Jennings, J Heaslip (capt.).
Replacements: S Cronin, J O’Connell, E Byrne, L Cullen, J Murphy, I Boss, J Gopperth, Z Kirchner.