Leinster bolstered by returning Ireland players

Matt O’Connor makes 10 changes to team that beat Cardiff ahead of Warriors clash

 Luke Fitzgerald and Ian Madigan arrive for Leinster training. Photograph:  Donall Farmer/Inpho

Luke Fitzgerald and Ian Madigan arrive for Leinster training. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Fri, Feb 28, 2014, 12:49

Leinster coach Matt O’Connor welcomes several players back from the Ireland squad for tomorrow night’s RaboDirect Pro12 clash with the Glasgow Warriors at the RDS (8.30).

There are ten changes in personnel to the side that beat the Cardiff Blues last week. Fergus McFadden will partner Noel Reid in the centre while Luke Fitzgerald gets some more game time have returned to competitive action against Cardiff.

Ian Madigan is named at outhalf - he’ll be making his 99th appearance for the province - with Eoin Reddan (96) his halfback partner and chasing a century of his own; Jimmy Gopperth and Isaac Boss are on the bench. Up front Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin and Martin Moore, who came on as replacements for Irelad at Twickenham, start with Mike Ross - he played 60 minutes against England - included along the Leinster replacements.

O’Connor has again shuffled the pack and selected a completely new eight that includes skipper Leo Cullen, Mike McCarthy, Shane Jennings, Rhys Ruddock and Ireland’s latest debutant Jordi Murphy.

The Warriors were successful 12-6 when the two sides met at Scotstoun in round 3 of the PRO12 and are going for a first ever season’s double over the Leinster.

Meanwhile Warriors fullback Peter Murchie will return from injury at the RDS. The 28-year-old has been out of action since October with a dislocated shoulder.

Tommy Seymour, who has been released from Scotland duty for this weekend’s game, lines up on the right wing, while Niko Matawalu moves from scrumhalf to the left wing in place of Lee Jones, who has been named among the replacements.

There is a new centre partnership with Finn Russell moving from outhalf to inside centre and lining up alongside Richie Vernon, with Mark Bennett on the bench.

Ruaridh Jackson switches from fullback to his normal position of outhalf and after being released by Scotland, Chris Cusiter starts at scrumhalf and captains the side.

Gordon Reid replaces Jerry Yanuyanutawa at loosehead, Pat MacArthur returns from injury at hooker in place of Dougie Hall and Mike Cusack continues at tighthead.

Tim Swinson, who has also been released by Scotland, lines up in the secondrow alongside 19-year-old Jonny Gray.

James Eddie starts at blindside, Rob Harley moves to openside in place of Tyrone Holmes, who is among the replacements, and Josh Strauss continues at number eight.

Leinster: Z Kirchner; D Fanning, F McFadden, N Reid, L Fitzgerald; I Madigan, E Reddan; J McGrath, S Cronin, M Moore; L Cullen (capt); M McCarthy; R Ruddock, S Jennings, J Murphy. Replacements: R Strauss, M Bent, M Ross, T Denton, D Ryan, I Boss, J Gopperth, D Hudson.

Glasgow Warriors: P Murchie; T Seymour, R Vernon, F Russell, N Matawalu; R Jackson, C Cusiter; G Reid, P McArthur, M Cusack; T Swinson, J Gray; J Eadie, R Harley, J Strauss.

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