Mick Kearney to make first Leinster appearance v Cardiff
February 19, 2016 12:00 am client
Ahead of the Captain’s Run later on this afternoon, Leinster Rugby Head Coach Leo Cullen has named his side to face the Cardiff Blues in the Guinness PRO12 tomorrow in BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park (Kick Off: 3.00pm – live on SKY Sports).
There are eight changes from the team that accounted for Zebre last Friday in the RDS Arena with three in the backs and five in the pack, with a return for some Irish internationals from 6 Nations duty and a debut for one of last summer’s signings.
Zane Kirchner continues at full back with Fergus McFadden coming into the starting XV having played against France last weekend for Ireland. On the left wing Isa Nacewa captains the side, while Ben Te’o and Garry Ringrose continue their midfield partnership.
There is a new half-back pairing with Eoin Reddan and Ian Madigan starting. It will be Madigan’s 140th appearance for the province, with 788 points to his name to date.
Cian Healy is the only player retained in the front row with Sean Cronin and Tadhg Furlong starting alongside him this week.
There is one significant change to the second row with Clontarf native Mick Kearney making his debut for Leinster having signed last summer. Unfortunately, a toe injury kept him out of action until the start of the season but a relapse on his first game back with Clontarf resulted in a further lengthy spell on the sidelines. The lock, who has 68 Connacht caps to his name already, will be partnered by Hayden Triggs.
Rhys Ruddock comes into the team at blind side flanker, with Jordi Murphy moving from the number eight shirt onto the open side. That means a welcome return from injury for Jack Conan who has been out with an ankle injury for over three months. He last played against Wasps in the Champions Cup in November.
Leinster Rugby can also confirm that ticket sales for the Guinness PRO12 match against Munster in Aviva Stadium on 2nd April have passed the 25,000 mark. Tickets are on sale now from €;20.
LEINSTER (Leinster caps in brackets):
15. Zane Kirchner (57)
14. Fergus McFadden (137)
13. Garry Ringrose (12)
12. Ben Te’o (29)
11. Isa Nacewa (140) CAPTAIN
10. Ian Madigan (139)
9. Eoin Reddan (131)
1. Cian Healy (148)
2. Sean Cronin (104)
3. Tadhg Furlong (40)
4. Mick Kearney (0)
5. Hayden Triggs (6)
6. Rhys Ruddock (104)
7. Jordi Murphy (70)
8. Jack Conan (28)
16. Richardt Strauss (122)
17. Peter Dooley (13)
18. Mike Ross (126)
19. Tom Denton (47)
20. Dan Leavy (10)
21. Nick McCarthy (2)
22. Noel Reid (54)
23. Adam Byrne (3)
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU, 69th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Sean Brickell, Simon Rees (both WRU)
Citing Commissioner: John Charles (WRU)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (WRU)