Newly crowned European rugby kingpins Leinster show six changes from their dramatic finmal winm over Racing for their latest inter-pro derby clash with old foes Munster in tomorrow’s Guinness PRO14 Semi-Final.
Head Coach Leo Cullen has recalled a number of players into the starting XV and the match day squad for the game but eight players in total retain their jersey from the Champions Cup Final with a further two positional changes one in the backs and one in the forwards.
Joey Carbery will start at full back with Jordan Larmour and James Lowe on either wing. In the centre Leinster will be captained for the last time at the RDS Arena by Isa Nacewa and he will be partnered by Garry Ringrose.
At half back, Luke McGrath will start at scrumhalf with Ross Byrne at ten. In the pack Jack McGrath comes in to start and is joined by Seán Cronin and Tadhg Furlong.
It’s as you were in the second row with Devin Toner once again partnering James Ryan. Rhys Ruddock and Jack Conan come in to start with Jordi Murphy moving to the openside from No. 8 in what will also be his last game in the RDS Arena.
Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):
15. Joey Carbery (35)
14. Jordan Larmour (20)
13. Garry Ringrose (48)
12. Isa Nacewa (183) CAPTAIN
11. James Lowe (11)
10. Ross Byrne (48)
9. Luke McGrath (93)
1. Jack McGrath (131)
2. Seán Cronin (151)
3. Tadhg Furlong (82)
4. Devin Toner (216)
5. James Ryan (13)
6. Rhys Ruddock (140)
7. Jordi Murphy (105)
8. Jack Conan (72)
16. James Tracy (64)
17. Cian Healy (189)
18. Andrew Porter (28)
19. Scott Fardy (20)
20. Max Deegan (20)
21. Nick McCarthy (26)
22. Rory O’Loughlin (40)
23. Barry Daly (26)
The Munster side named by Head Coach Johann van Graan shows one change to the starting XV from that which defeated Edinburgh in the semi-final qualifier at Thomond Park two weeks ago as John Ryan comes into the side at tighthead prop.
Hooker Rhys Marshall, a try-scorer in the Edinburgh win, is set to make his 50th appearance for Munster in the clash. Simon Zebo starts at full-back with Andrew Conway and Rugby Players Ireland Players’ Player of the Year Keith Earls on the flanks.
Rory Scannell is partnered by Sammy Arnold in the centres with the half-back pairing of Conor Murray and JJ Hanrahan also unchanged. Ryan joins James Cronin and Marshall in the front row as Jean Kleyn and Billy Holland team up once again in the engine room.
Captain Peter O’Mahony, Jack O’Donoghue and CJ Stander form the back row. Niall Scannell returns from injury to take his place on the bench alongside fellow forwards Dave Kilcoyne, Ciaran Parker, Gerbrandt Grobler and Robin Copeland. Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley and Darren Sweetnam are the backline replacements.
Munster: Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Sammy Arnold, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; JJ Hanrahan, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Rhys Marshall, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony (C), Jack O’Donoghue, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne, Ciaran Parker, Gerbrandt Grobler, Robin Copeland, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Darren Sweetnam.