Devin Toner in Leinster XV for 200th appearance

Rhys Ruddock and Jack Conan among the changes for the visit of the Cardiff Blues

Devin Toner during Leinster  training this week at Rosemount, UCD. Photograph: Inpho

Devin Toner during Leinster training this week at Rosemount, UCD. Photograph: Inpho

 

Meath man Devin Toner will Leinster out for their first home game of the Pro14 season; on the occasion of his 200th cap for Leinster.

The towering lock will become only the sixth Leinster player to have achieved that milestone - with Jamie Heaslip the only other player in the current squad - against the Cardiff Blues on Friday night.

He has scored three tries in his 199 caps to date with the last one coming in September 2012 against the Scarlets.

The 6’10” lock made his debut in January 2006 in a home win against Border Reivers and will be hoping for a similar result 12 seasons later.

Elsewhere Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has picked the same back line – bar one – that accounted for Dragons last week in Rodney Parade with Irish scrumhalf Luke McGrath the only change as he starts beside Ross Byrne.

Otherwise it’s as you were with Rob Kearney at fullback, Adam Byrne on the right wing and Jordan Larmour on the left for his first senior game in the RDS Arena. Larmour made a try scoring start to his Leinster career last week.

Isa Nacewa again captains the side from inside centre with Rory O’Loughlin outside him at 13.

Once again Cian Healy and Michael Bent are chosen as the props but James Tracy comes in at hooker for his first start of the campaign.

In the second row, once again Scott Fardy has been partnered with Toner, as the 39 times capped Australian international makes his RDS debut.

There are two changes to the back row with only Josh van der Flier retained as he again starts at openside. Rhys Ruddock is involved for the first time this season fresh from captaining the Irish team during the summer on their unbeaten tour of the USA and Japan. Jack Conan is the final name on Cullen’s starting XV having impressed off the bench against Dragons.

On the bench there is a first involvement of the season for Mick Kearney.

LEINSTER: Rob Kearney; Adam Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin, Isa Nacewa (Capt), Jordan Larmour; Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, James Tracy, Michael Bent; Devin Toner, Scott Fardy; Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.

Replacements: Seán Cronin, Ed Byrne, Andrew Porter, Mick Kearney, Dan Leavy, Nick McCarthy, Cathal Marsh,Barry Daly.

Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU)

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