After the Captain’s Run in the RDS earlier today, Leinster Rugby Head Coach Leo Cullen announced his match day squad to take on Ulster in the sold out Guinness PRO12 Play-Off tomorrow evening in the RDS (Kick Off: 7.45pm – live on SKY Sports, TG4 and BBC NI).
There is only change to the starting XV from the team that plaved against Benetton Treviso in the Round 22 bonus try win in the RDS as Rob Kearney has failed to recover sufficiently from his ankle injury that forced his substitution in the 23rd minute of the same game.
As a result Luke Fitzgerald returns to the left wing with Isa Nacewa captaining the side from full back. With Fitzgerald starting on the left, that also means a change for Dave Kearney who now starts on the right wing.
Ben Te’o and Garry Ringrose are Cullen’s centre pairing for the 12th time this season as Te’o starts for his last time in the RDS before his summer move to the Premiership.
At half back Eoin Reddan and Johnny Sexton start as Sexton makes his 125th appearnace in blue. The St. Mary’s man has scored 1,110 points to date and is in second place on the all time point scorers list with Felipe Contepomi on top with 1,225.
Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss and Mike Ross are once again selected to start in the front row. Strauss scored two tries last time out and Friday will be his 130th Leinster cap.
Behind them Devin Toner and Mick Kearney will start in the second row with Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy and Jamie Heaslip completing the pack.
There are a few changes on the bench with Jack Conan returning from injury for his first game since February, while Ian Madigan and Zane Kirchner are also back into the mix with Blackrock College man Madigan also playing his plast game at the RDS.
Should he be involved, Wexford man Tadhg Furlong will win his 50th cap for Leinster off the bench.
With the game sold out and with three other events on in the RDS tomorrow evening, supporters are encouraged to use public transport where possible as parking will be limited in and around the ground.
LEINSTER (Leinster caps in bracket):
15. Isa Nacewa (148) CAPTAIN
14. Dave Kearney (101)
13. Garry Ringrose (20)
12. Ben Te’o (38)
11. Luke Fitzgerald (152)
10. Johnny Sexton (124)
9. Eoin Reddan (138)
1. Jack McGrath (93)
2. Richard Strauss (129)
3. Mike Ross (133)
4. Devin Toner (181)
5. Mick Kearney (7)
6. Rhys Ruddock (111)
7. Jordi Murphy (78)
8. Jamie Heaslip (215)
16. Sean Cronin (112)
17. Peter Dooley (19)
18. Tadhg Furlong (49)
19. Ross Molony (21)
20. Jack Conan (29)
21. Luke McGrath (48)
22. Ian Madigan (145)
23. Zane Kirchner (63)
Referee: Ian Davies (WRU, 48th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Ben Whitehouse, Sean Brickell (both WRU)
Citing Commissioner: John Cole (IRFU)
TMO: Jon Mason (WRU)