After the Captain’s Run in the RDS this morning, Leinster Rugby head coach Matt O’Connor has announced the team to face Zebre in the Guinness PRO12 tomorrow evening in the RDS (Kick Off: 7.35pm – live on TG4).

With Tom Denton, Noel Reid and Richardt Strauss ruled out as they continue through the return to play protocols there are a number of changes in personnel with seven in total, three in the forwards and four in the backs. 

Zane Kirchner returns from injury and starts at full back with Fergus McFadden on the right wing and Luke Fitzgerald starting this weekend on the left wing. Gordon D’Arcy comes in at inside centre with Ben Te’o outside him at 13. 

In the half backs there is a return from a knee injury for Eoin Reddan who hasn’t played since the 20-20 draw against Wasps in the Champions Cup. While beside him Jimmy Gopperth wins his 50th cap for Leinster. To date the New Plymouth native has scored 299 points in the blue of Leinster (four tries, 48 conversions, 60 penalties and one drop goal). 

In the front row Michael Bent again starts at loosehead with Marty Moore coming in at tighthead and Aaron Dundon starting at hooker. In the second row Mike McCarthy and Kane Douglas are the starting pair, while there is no change to the back row from last weekend with Dominic Ryan, captain Shane Jennings and number eight Jack Conan all starting once again.

Cian Healy makes a welcome return to Leinster colours and is in line to make his first appearance off the bench since the Guinness PRO12 game against the Scarlets in September. 

Tickets to the game are still available at 


15. Zane Kirchner
14. Fergus McFadden
13. Ben Te’o
12. Gordon D’Arcy
11. Luke Fitzgerald
10. Jimmy Gopperth
9. Eoin Reddan
1. Michael Bent
2. Aaron Dundon
3. Marty Moore
4. Mike McCarthy
5. Kane Douglas
6. Dominic Ryan
7. Shane Jennings CAPTAIN
8. Jack Conan
16. Sean Cronin
17. Cian Healy
18. Tadhg Furlong
19. Ben Marshall
20. Dan Leavy
21. Isaac Boss
22. Cathal Marsh
23. Dave Kearney 

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU, 118th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Kieran Barry, Stuart Douglas (both IRFU)
Citing Commissioner: Denis Templeton (IRFU)
TMO: Dermot Moloney (IRFU)