Luke Fitzgerald in line to play against Cardiff
Winger will face late fitness test ahead of Thursday night game
Luke Fitzgerald had been named on the left wing for Leinster’s Pro12 clash away to the Cardiff Blues. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Luke Fitzgerald has been named in the Leinster starting XV for Thursday night’s Pro12 trip to play Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park (8.05pm).
Fitzgerald has struggled with an adductor muscle injury and will undergo a fitness test ahead of the game with Sam Coghlan-Murray on standby for the left-wing berth. He has had a number of false starts in recent weeks but mercifully for Leinster fans a tweet from the Ireland wing this evening suggested, at least, that he made the plane.
Matt O’Connor makes 10 changes in total from the 31-19 victory over the Dragons last weekend, including a complete change in the pack for the trip to Wales.
Tom Denton and Quinn Roux form the secondrow, while there is an interesting backrow selection with Kevin McLaughlin captaining the side from blindside, Dominic Ryan playing at openside and 21-year-old Jack Conan coming in for his first Leinster start at number eight.
Mike McCarthy and Rhys Ruddock both start from the bench having trained with Ireland this week.
LEINSTER (v Cardiff Blues, Arms Park, Thursday, 8.05pm): Z Kirchner; D Fanning, B Macken, N Reid, L Fitzgerald/S Coghlan-Murray; J Gopperth, E Reddan; M Bent, R Strauss, T Furlong; T Denton, Q Roux; K McLaughlin (capt), D Ryan, J Conan.
Replacements: A Dundon, J O’Connell, E Byrne, M McCarthy, R Ruddock, L McGrath, I Madigan, D Hudson