LEINSTER HAVE MADE seven personnel changes to their starting XV ahead of tomorrow night’s RaboDirect Pro12 clash with the Ospreys at Liberty Stadium [KO 7.05pm].
Leinster come into this game as league leaders, five points ahead of Munster, and head coach Matt O’Connor will be keen to ensure there is no hangover from last weekend’s Heineken Cup exit at the hands of Toulon.
Having played that quarter-final on Sunday, Leinster’s short recovery period has seen the Australian make a number of changes to his team, including the addition of Zane Kirchner on the right wing in place of the injured Fergus McFadden.
Noel Reid comes in at inside centre, meaning a switch to the 13 jersey for Gordon D’Arcy as Brian O’Driscoll drops out of the match-day squad. The only other backline change sees Isaac Boss in for Eoin Reddan at scrumhalf.
In the front row, Sean Cronin and Martin Moore are handed starting chances, while Leo Cullen comes into the team at lock and is named as captain. The final change to the pack sees Kevin McLaughlin selected at blindside flanker, with Rhys Ruddock dropping out of the squad.
Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO
The bench options for the testing trip to Wales include exciting scrum-half Luke McGrath and centre Collie O’Shea, who impressed during Leinster ‘A’s recent heavy win against Munster.
Michael Bent, Mike Ross, Devin Toner and Jordi Murphy provide international impact as replacements.
Leinster: Rob Kearney; Zane Kirchner, Gordon D’Arcy, Noel Reid, Dave Kearney; Jimmy Gopperth, Isaac Boss; Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Martin Moore; Leo Cullen (capt.), Mike McCarthy; Kevin McLaughlin, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Michael Bent, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Jordi Murphy, Luke McGrath, Collie O’Shea, Darragh Fanning.
Ospreys: Richard Fussell; Jeff Hassler, Jonathan Spratt, Ashley Beck, Aisea Natoga; Dan Biggar, Tom Habberfield; Duncan Jones, Scott Baldwin, Aaron Jarvis; Ryan Jones, Alun-Wyn Jones (capt.); Joe Bearman, Justin Tipuric, Dan Baker.
Replacements: Scott Otten, Nicky Smith, Adam Jones, James King, Morgan Allen, Tito Tebaldi, Sam Davies, Hanno Dirksen.