Schmidt opts for Madigan at fullback
Rugby:Leinster coach Joe Schmidt has made 11 changes from the starting XV that suffered a 34-6 defeat at the hands of Connacht in Galway last weekend for Saturday night’s RaboDirect Pro12 clash against Munster at the Aviva Stadium.
The defeat at the Sportsground came at a cost, with fullback Rob Kearney (back) and centre Gordon D’Arcy (ribs) both sidelined in the first half and they both miss out for the Munster game.
Schmidt has decided against replacing Kearney with Isa Nacewa and instead the New Zealander moves Ian Madigan from outhalf to fullback, with Nacewa being named on the left wing instead of Fionn Carr.
Brian O’Driscoll takes over from Brendan Macken at outside centre, with Fergus McFadden moving in from the right wing to take the place of D’Arcy. Jonathan Sexton takes over the outhalf berth from Madigan, with Eoin Reddan replacing John Cooney at scrumhalf.
There are also widespread changes in the pack, with Cian Healy (bicep strain) and secondrow Quinn Roux (shoulder) also failing to recover from knocks picked up against Connacht.
South African Heinke van der Merwe continues in place of Healy, with Richardt Strauss and Mike Ross coming into the side at the expense Tom Sexton and Jamie Hagan.
Damien Browne and Devin Toner make up a new secondrow, while Kevin McLaughlin and Jamie Heaslip come are named in the backrow. Heaslip captains the side on what is his 150th career appearance for the province.
Meanwhile, Munster coach Rob Penney makes six changes, all in the pack, from the side that lost heavily away to Ospreys.
Niall Ronan picked up a slight groin injury in training on Thursday while Marcus Horan continues to recover from a cut under the eye that he received in a club game.
Dave Kilcoyne holds on to the loosehead position from Wian du Preez after the 23-year-old impressed off the bench in Wales last weekend. BJ Botha comes in at tighthead for Stephen Archer, with Mike Sherry remaining at hooker.
Donnacha Ryan comes in for his first start of the season to partner Donnacha O’Callaghan in the secondrow, with Billy Holland dropping to the bench.
There is a new backrow trio, with Dave O’Callaghan returning to the blindside, Sean Dougall lining up at seven and Peter O’Mahony at number eight for his first start of the season.
The backline remains the same with skipper Doug Howlett leading the side out to win his 100th competitive Munster cap.
LEINSTER (v Munster):I Madigan; A Conway, B O'Driscoll, F McFadden, I Nacewa; J Sexton, E Reddan; H van der Merwe, R Strauss, M Ross, D Browne, D Toner, K McLaughlin, S Jennings, J Heaslip (captain).
Replacements:S Cronin, J McGrath, J Hagan, T Denton, J Murphy, J Cooney, N Reid, F Carr.
MUNSTER:D Hurley; D Howlett (captain), K Earls, C Laulala, S Zebo; R O’Gara, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, M Sherry, BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan, D Ryan, Dave O'Callaghan, S Dougall, P O’Mahony.
Replacements:D Varley, W du Preez, S Archer, B Holland, P Butler, D Williams, I Keatley, J Downey.