Leinster make 11 changes for Cardiff Blues game

Matt O’Connor welcomes Rob Kearney back into the fold but Ian Madigan starts on bench

Matt O’Connor welcomes Rob Kearney back into the Leinster side for tomorrow’s trip to Cardiff. (Photograph: INPHO/Ryan Byrne)

Matt O’Connor welcomes Rob Kearney back into the Leinster side for tomorrow’s trip to Cardiff. (Photograph: INPHO/Ryan Byrne)

 

Leinster coach Matt O’Connor has made 11 changes from the side which beat Ulster 24-11 last weekend for tomorrow’s fixture against Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park.

The squad has been ravaged by injuries recently, but O’Connor has been able to welcome a number of recently recovered players back into the fold for the Pro 12 clash.

Vice-captain and Ireland fullback Rob Kearney is back in blue and will lead the side, with brother Dave and Fergus McFadden completing the back three.

Dave Kearney and McFadden are the only two players retained from last weekend’s winning backline, with Noel Reid returning in the centre to partner Ben Te’o, who makes only his third appearance since his move from the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

London Wasps bound Jimmy Gopperth will be marshalling the side from 10 replacing last week’s star man Ian Madigan, with Luke McGrath coming in for Eoin Reddan at nine.

O’Connor has opted to field a completely new front five, with Marty Moore in the front row for his first start since the win over Zebre in October alongside Michael Bent and Sean Cronin.

Tom Denton and Zane Douglas are in the secondrow, while Dominic Ryan has followed return to play protocols and returns to join Jordi Murphy and Jack Conan in the backrow.

LEINSTER: Rob Kearney, Fergus McFadden, Ben Te’o, Noel Reid, Dave Kearney, Jimmy Gopperth, Luke McGrath; Michael Bent, Sean Cronin, Marty Moore, Tom Denton, Kane Douglas, Dominic Ryan, Jordi Murphy, Jack Conan

REPLACEMENTS: Richardt Strauss, Jamie Hagan, Tadhg Furlong, Mike McCarthy, Josh Van Der Flier, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Darragh Fanning

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