After the captain’s run this morning in the RDS, Leinster Rugby head coach Matt O’Connor has announced his starting XV to face Ulster in the RDS tomorrow (Kick Off: 2.40pm – live on SKY Sports and RTE Radio).

There are five changes in personnel to the team that faced Munster in Thomond Park, with captain Jamie Heaslip and a host of other internationals returning to the fold. 

Four of those changes are in the pack with Jack McGrath and Mike Ross starting in the front row, with Richardt Strauss continuing at hooker. 

Devin Toner comes back into the second row to partner Mike McCarthy, while in the back row Jamie Heaslip starts at eight which means a move to blindside flanker for Jack Conan. Shane Jennings starts at openside to complete the forwards. 

In the backs, there is only one change which sees the fit again Fergus McFadden start on the right wing in place of Darragh Fanning. McFadden had surgery on a thumb injury after the game against the Ospreys in Round 9 of the Guinness PRO12. Dave Kearney is selected on the left wing, with 28 times capped Springbok, Zane Kirchner at full back. 

Gordon D’Arcy, who won his 250th Leinster cap against Munster, starts at inside centre with Luke Fitzgerald outside him at 13. Finally, Isaac Boss and Ian Madigan are once again the starting half backs. 

There is also a place in the match day 23 for the returning Ben Te’o, who is available for the first time since fracturing his forearm during his debut against Edinburgh in October. 

The game against Ulster is sold out and with gates open from 1.10pm, supporters are urged to come early for the 2.40pm kick off and to make themselves heard in a packed RDS. 


1. Jack McGrath
2, Richardt Strauss
3. Mike Ross
4. Devin Toner
5. Mike McCarthy
6. Jack Conan
7. Shane Jennings
8. Jamie Heaslip CAPTAIN
9. Isaac Boss
10. Ian Madigan
11. Dave Kearney
12. Gordon D’Arcy
13. Luke Fitzgerald
14. Fergus McFadden
15. Zane Kirchner

16. Sean Cronin
17. Michael Bent
18. Tadhg Furlong
19. Kane Douglas
20. Jordi Murphy
21. Luke McGrath 
22. Jimmy Gopperth 
23. Ben Te’o 

Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR, 35th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Eddie Hogan-O’Connell, Mark Connolly (both IRFU)
Citing Commissioner: Eugene Ryan (IRFU)
TMO: Jude Quinn (IRFU)