The Leinster team to face Zebre in Sunday evening’s RaboDirect PRO12 clash in the Stadio XXV Aprile (KO: 5.00pm) has been named.

With 13 Leinster players named in the Ireland squad to face Wales in the 6 Nations tomorrow, Coach Matt O’Connor has made a number of changes to his starting 15 from the team that took to the field against Connacht in the last round of the RaboDirect PRO12 back in early January.

As always this has presented players with opportunities to stake a claim for a regular starting berth and Leinster Academy players Sam Coghlan-Murray and Tadhg Furlong get a chance on the left wing and at tight head respectively, while three other Leinster Academy players are named amongst the replacements.

O’Connor also welcomes back the experienced duo of Mike McCarthy and Jordi Murphy who were released from the Irish set up and are also named in the starting 15.

With Zane Kirchner switched from the right wing to full back, Darragh Fanning comes in for only his 7th Leinster cap after a number of impressive performances for the Leinster ‘A’ team, while the aforementioned Coghlan-Murray takes his place on the opposite wing.

Brendan Macken gets a chance to impress at 13 with Noel Reid beside him in the centre, while John Cooney and Jimmy Gopperth are selected at 9 and 10 respectively with Gopperth only two points short of 150 career points for Leinster.

In the pack only Jordi Murphy is retained from the side that beat Connacht 8-16 in the Sportsground with Kevin McLaughlin and Shane Jennings also in the back row.

Michael Bent, Aaron Dundon and Tadhg Furlong pack down in the front row with the experienced duo of captain Leo Cullen and Mike McCarthy behind them.

The Official Leinster Supporters Club (OLSC) can confirm that the game is not being televised outside of Italy on Sunday.

The game will however be streamed live on from 4.35pm (Island of Ireland only).


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15: Zane Kirchner
14: Darragh Fanning
13: Brendan Macken
12: Noel Reid
11: Sam Coghlan-Murray
10: Jimmy Gopperth
9: John Cooney
1: Michael Bent
2: Aaron Dundon
3: Tadhg Furlong
4: Leo Cullen CAPTAIN
5: Mike McCarthy
6: Kevin McLaughlin
7: Shane Jennings
8: Jordi Murphy

16: James Tracy
17: Jack O’Connell
18: Edward Byrne
19: Tom Denton
20: Dominic Ryan
21: Luke McGrath
22: Ian Madigan
23: Darren Hudson

REFEREE: Neil Hennessy (WRU), ASSISTANT REFEREES: Filippo Bertelli, Frencesco Russo (both FIR) CITING COMMISSIONER: Achille Reali (FIR) TMO: Carlo Damasco (FIR)