Leinster make 10 changes for festive Munster clash

Leo Cullen makes a number of changes to his pack, with only Tadhg Furlong retained

Leo Cullen has made 10 changes to his Leinster team to play Munster. Photograph: Inpho

Leo Cullen has made 10 changes to his Leinster team to play Munster. Photograph: Inpho

 

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has made 10 changes for the St Stephen’s Day Pro12 clash with Munster in Thomond Park.

Cullen retains four of the backs that faced Northampton Saints in the Champions Cup last Saturday but captain Isa Nacewa swaps wings in the only positional change.

As a result UCD’s Barry Daly comes into the side on the left wing with Nacewa operating on the right. South African international Zane Kirchner will start at full back for his 76th Leinster cap.

Robbie Henshaw continues in the centre but is partnered this week by Rory O’Loughlin. O’Loughlin, who wins his tenth cap for Leinster, scored a try in both home and away games against Northampton Saints.

Ross Byrne again starts in the number 10 jersey but is joined from the start this week by Maori All Black Jamison Gibson-Park.

Cian Healy, James Tracy and Tadhg Furlong form an Irish international front row. Furlong is the only forward retained from last week’s starting XV.

Ross Molony and Mike McCarthy start in the second row, while in the back row Rhys Ruddock, Dan Leavy and Jack Conan complete the pack.

LEINSTER: Zane Kirchner; Isa Nacewa (Captain), Rory O’Loughlin, Robbie Henshaw, Barry Daly; Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Cian Healy, James Tracy, Tadhg Furlong; Ross Molony, Mike McCarthy; Rhys Ruddock, Dan Leavy, Jack Conan.

Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Peter Dooley, Michael Bent, Ian Nagle, Dominic Ryan, Charlie Rock, Noel Reid, Tom Daly.

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