Leinster name team for Cardiff visit and give injury update

The latest update from the province on Rob Kearney and Jamie Heaslip’s injuries

Some locals watch Leinster training at UCD during the week. Photograph: Inpho

Some locals watch Leinster training at UCD during the week. Photograph: Inpho

 

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has named Luke McGrath, Cian Healy and Dan Leavy in his starting XV for Saturday afternoon’s game against the Cardiff Blues in the RDS.

The trio all featured in Ireland’s Six Nations win over England last weekend, but after two weekends with no Guinness Pro12 championship action, the focus again returns to the Pro12.

Cullen has also been able to recall a number of players that had been out through injury.

However, he is without the services of Rob Kearney and Jamie Heaslip, who both sat out that win over England at the Aviva. The province revealed on Friday that Kearney “had a minor procedure on his knee on Tuesday and will be out for the next few weeks”. While Heaslip “had a minor procedure on his lower back this (Friday) morning”, and Cullen has ruled him out “for a number of weeks”.

Leinster host Wasps in the last eight of the Champions Cup on April 1st.

Isa Nacewa comes back in to captain the side on the left wing with Adam Byrne on the right and Joey Carbery selected at full back.

Noel Reid is again selected in the number 12 jersey for the 14th time this season with Rory O’Loughlin returning from shoulder injury to fill the number 13 jersey beside him.

McGrath and Ross Byrne start together as half backs for the first time since the New Year’s Eve win over Ulster. McGrath wins his 70th cap for Leinster.

In the pack Healy returns from international duty to pack down beside fellow internationals Richardt Strauss and Michael Bent.

Ross Molony and Hayden Triggs partner up in the second row.

Fresh from his Six Nations debut against England last weekend, Leavy returns to Leinster duty at blind side, with Josh van der Flier back from shoulder injury at open side.

Rhys Ruddock starts at number eight for only the second time this season. His first appearance at the base of the scrum was also against Cardiff Blues in October where he scored the only try of the game in a 13-16 away win for Leinster.

The game also sees a late change in referee with George Clancy now in charge.

LEINSTER: Joey Carbery, Adam Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin, Noel Reid, Isa Nacewa (captain); Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, Richardt Strauss, Michael Bent; Ross Molony, Hayden Triggs; Dan Leavy, Josh van der Flier, Rhys Ruddock.

Replacements: James Tracy, Peter Dooley, Mike Ross, Mick Kearney, Max Deegan, Jamison Gibson-Park, Tom Daly, Fergus McFadden.

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