Leinster Rugby Head Coach Leo Cullen has announced his match day 23 to take on Connacht in the RDS Arena in the first Guinness PRO14 fixture of 2018 on Monday, New Year’s Day (Kick Off: 3.15pm – live on TG4 & RTÉ Radio).

Over 16,000 tickets have sold for the second interpro fixture of the festive period and the last remaining tickets can be bought at leinsterrugby.ie.

With three interpro fixtures in 11 days Cullen has retained only two players from the XV that accounted for Munster on St. Stephen’s Day.

Rob Kearney comes in at full back with Fergus McFadden also recalled on the right wing. James Lowe makes his first appearance in the RDS Arena and is retained on the left wing for his third cap for Leinster.

Noel Reid and Garry Ringrose are paired in the centre with Luke McGrath and  captain Johnny Sexton as the half backs.

In the pack Peter Dooley makes his first start of the season at loosehead alongside Seán Cronin and Andrew Porter.

Ross Molony and Ian Nagle are selected in the second row.

In the back row Dan Leavy is the only man retained from the Munster game after his Guinness Man of the Match award, with Josh van der Flier and Max Deegan joining him to complete the Leinster Rugby XV.

Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):

15. Rob Kearney (190)
14. Fergus McFadden (160)
13. Garry Ringrose (42)
12. Noel Reid (91)
11. James Lowe (2)
10. Johnny Sexton (141) CAPTAIN
9. Luke McGrath (85)
1. Peter Dooley (41)
2. Seán Cronin (141)
3. Andrew Porter (18)
4. Ross Molony (53)
5. Ian Nagle (13)
6. Dan Leavy (46)
7. Josh van der Flier (57)
8. Max Deegan (9)

16. Bryan Byrne (19)
17. Ed Byrne (15)
18. Michael Bent (98)
19. Mick Kearney (27)
20. Scott Fardy (10)
21. Nick McCarthy (15)
22. Cathal Marsh (26)
23. Rory O’Loughlin (32)

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)