Quinn Roux starts in Leinster secondrow for semi-final clash with Ulster

Ulster boosted by return from injury of Rory Best and Ruan Pienaar

Quinn Roux takes the place of the injured Mike McCarthy in the Leinster side to take on Ulster in the RaboDirect Pro12 semi-final at the RDS on Saturday night. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Quinn Roux takes the place of the injured Mike McCarthy in the Leinster side to take on Ulster in the RaboDirect Pro12 semi-final at the RDS on Saturday night. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Fri, May 16, 2014, 12:46

Quinn Roux will start alongside Devin Toner in the Leinster secondrow for Saturday night’s RaboDirect Pro12 semi-final against Ulster at the RDS after Mike McCarthy failed to shake off a calf strain.

The South African lock is one of eight changes to Matt O’Connor’s side from the 15-13 win over Edinburgh last weekend. Seven of those come in the pack, with skipper Jamie Heaslip the only one to remain.

Barring the inclusion of Roux, it’s the same pack that played in the 22-20 victory over Ulster a fortnight ago, with Martin Moore named at tighthead and Mike Ross on the bench.

Cian Healy and Seán Cronin also return to the frontrow, while Rhys Ruddock and Shane Jennings are named at flanker

The only change in the backline sees Eoin Reddan return from a shoulder injury picked up in the Heineken Cup defeat to Toulon to make his 100th appearance for the province at scrumhalf with Isaac Boss moving to the bench.

Ahead of the captain’s run in the RDS, coach Matt O’Connor said, “We have the utmost respect for the Ulster squad. Already this year we have had two incredibly physical and enthralling games against them and I have no doubt but that tomorrow will be no different. Training has gone very well and we are very excited by the challenge that this Ulster team will bring.

“This is where we wanted to be at the start of the year. We are at home in a semi-final having topped the table. Home advantage is crucial but it is up to us now to make sure that this advantage pays off.

Just two Ulster players remain from last weekend’s victory away to Munster, with the side being boosted by a return to action of Rory Best and Ruan Pienaar.

Craig Gilroy remains at fullback, with Darren Cave edging out Luke Marshall for the inside centre berth to play alongside Jared Payne.

Tommy Bowe and Andrew Trimble are named on the wings, although they swop sides from the defeat to Leinster, with Bowe on the right and Trimble on the left.

Ricky Lutton has recovered from a toe injury and starts at tighthead, with skipper Johann Muller and Iain Henderson named in the secondrow.

Roger Wilson has moved to number eight after the season-ending injury suffered by Nick Williams, with Robbie Diack taking over at blindside flanker and Chris Henry named at openside

LEINSTER: R Kearney; F McFadden, B O’Driscoll, G D’Arcy, D Kearney; J Gopperth, E Reddan; C Healy, S Cronin, M Moore; D Toner, Q Roux; R Ruddock, S Jennings, J Heaslip (capt). Replacements: A Dundon, J McGrath, M Ross, L Cullen, S O’Brien, I Boss, I Madigan, Z Kirchner.

ULSTER: C Gilroy; T Bowe, J Payne, D Cave, A Trimble; P Jackson, R Pienaar; C Black, R Best, R Lutton; J Muller (captain), I Henderson; R Diack, C Henry, R Wilson. Replacements: R Herring, A Warwick, A Macklin, D Tuohy, S Doyle, P Marshall, J McKinney, L Marshall.

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