Munster & Leinster Name Teams For PRO12 Clash
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Head Coach Anthony Foley makes five changes from the side that defeated Zebre for tomorrow evening’s Guinness PRO12 Round 19 clash away to Leinster at the Aviva Stadium – KO 5.30pm. CJ Stander resumes the role of captain for the first time since returning from international duty.
The return of James Cronin and Stander are the only two changes to the pack. Cronin will start alongsideNiall Scannell and Stephen Archer in the front row with captain Stander coming in to join Dave O’Callaghan and Tommy O’Donnell in the back row.
Three changes across the backline see Conor Murray, Francis Saili and Andrew Conway all return to the starting XV.
Munster: Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Johnny Holland, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Donnacha Ryan, Billy Holland; Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander – capt.
Replacements: Mike Sherry, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Robin Copeland, Jack O’Donoghue, Tomás O’Leary, Ian Keatley, Darren Sweetnam.
There are nine changes and two positional changes in total to the Leinster starting XV that started last weekend against Connacht.
With Zane Kirchner coming in at full back, captain Isa Nacewa moves to the right wing with Dave Kearney also coming back into the equation on the left wing, winning his 98th cap for Leinster.
It is the same midfield combination of Ben Te’o and Garry Ringrose, but there are two new half backs in Eoin Reddan, who lines up against his former club, and Johnny Sexton who returns for his first Guinness PRO12 game since the Ospreys in January.
There are five changes in total in the pack with two of these in the front row as Jack McGrath and Sean Cronin start alongside Tadhg Furlong. Like Reddan, Cronin starts against his former team for whom he played on two occasions before joining Connacht.
Devin Toner comes in to partner Hayden Triggs in the second row, while in the back row Rhys Ruddock is again selected but moves from number eight to blind side flanker. Jordi Murphy comes in at open side to win his 75th Leinster cap while Jamie Heaslip completes the pack from number eight.
LEINSTER (Leinster caps in brackets):
15. Zane Kirchner (62)
14. Isa Nacewa (145) CAPTAIN
13. Garry Ringrose (17)
12. Ben Te’o (34)
11. Dave Kearney (97)
10. Johnny Sexton (121)
9. Eoin Reddan (134)
1. Jack McGrath (90)
2. Sean Cronin (108)
3. Tadhg Furlong (45)
4. Devin Toner (177)
5. Hayden Triggs (11)
6. Rhys Ruddock (107)
7. Jordi Murphy (74)
8. Jamie Heaslip (212)
16. Richardt Strauss (125)
17. Cian Healy (151)
18. Mike Ross (129)
19. Ross Molony (18)
20. Josh van der Flier (21)
21. Luke McGrath (44)
22. Ian Madigan (142)
23. Fergus McFadden (140)
Referee: Ian Davies (WRU, 44th competition game)
Assistant Referees: David Wilkinson, Mark Patton (IRFU)
Citing Commissioner: Peter Ferguson (IRFU)
TMO: Simon McDowell (IRFU)