Eight changes to Leinster XV
February 16, 2017 / Marcus Ó Buachalla
Leinster Rugby Head Coach Leo Cullen has made eight changes to the Leinster XV that will take on Edinburgh in the Guinness PRO12 tomorrow evening in the RDS Arena (Kick Off: 7.35pm – live on TG4).
With second-placed Ospreys hosting first-placed Munster on Saturday, tomorrow’s game is a massive opportunity for third-placed Leinster as they look to keep the pressure on the two teams above.
With a number of Irish players available to Cullen, they have been drafted in from the start while others only back from injury last weekend against Treviso are given the chance to impress from the start for this game. In total there are 11 internationals in the Leinster XV.
In the back three Zane Kirchner – on the occasion of his 80th Leinster cap – continues at full back with Dave Kearney again selected on the wing having scored tries 20 and 21 of his Leinster career in his comeback game last week against Treviso. However with UCD’s Barry Daly coming in on the left wing it means a shift across to the right wing for Kearney.
Noel Reid and Rory O’Loughlin will continue in the centre but it’s a new combination at half back.
Irish internationals Luke McGrath and Joey Carbery will line up at nine and ten respectively in what will be Carbery’s first start since injuring his ankle in the Round 3 Champions Cup game away to Northampton in December.
In the front row only Peter Dooley retains his starting jersey from last week with James Tracy coming in at hooker having come off the bench for Ireland against Italy last Saturday and Mike Ross starts at tight head having played nearly 30 minutes off the bench last week in his return from a hamstring injury.
It’s a new look second row with Ross Molony and Mike McCarthy starting.
Finally in the back row Dominic Ryan and Jack Conan have been retained at blind side flanker and number eight, with Josh van der Flier coming in at open side.
Tickets for the game are still on sale from Ticketmaster and tickets will also be available from the ticket office at the Anglesea Road entrance from 6.00pm.
LEINSTER: (caps in brackets)
15. Zane Kirchner (79)
14. Dave Kearney (108)
13. Rory O’Loughlin (15)
12. Noel Reid (75)
11. Barry Daly (6)
10. Joey Carbery (13)
9. Luke McGrath (66)
1. Peter Dooley (30)
2. James Tracy (33)
3. Mike Ross (145)
4. Ross Molony (35)
5. Mike McCarthy (72)
6. Dominic Ryan (110)
7. Josh van der Flier (37)
8. Jack Conan (43)
16. Bryan Byrne (16)
17. Andrew Porter (6)
18. Michael Bent (78)
19. Mick Kearney (17)
20. Dan Leavy (30)
21. Jamison Gibson-Park (19)
22. Ross Byrne (15)
23. Adam Byrne (15)
Referee: Ian Davies (WRU, 57th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Simon Rees (WRU), Leo Colgan (IRFU)
Citing Commissioner: John Cole (IRFU)
TMO: Neil Hennessy (WRU)