‘Kings’ could be in for a long night at the RDS

Southern Kings opt to rotate their squad against Leinster following Munster hammering

Leinster v Southern Kings, RDS (7.55pm, live on Eir Sport, Premier Sports)

The Southern Kings 43-0 defeat to Munster last weekend will have fostered a certain expectation amongst the Leinster supporters and they are unlikely to be disappointed based on team that Leo Cullen has chosen for this Pro 14 game.

Hooker Ronan Kelleher, younger brother of Connacht's Cian, makes his debut, Andrew Porter has dropped in from the Ireland squad to accumulate match minutes, while Fergus McFadden makes his first appearance since last October having recovered from a hamstring injury. James Lowe is back in harness, which will ramp up the entertainment quotient.

Barry Daly and Conor O'Brien demonstrate their versatility by switching to fullback and outside centre respectively, Hugh O'Sullivan starts at scrumhalf, Ross Molony captains the team and the backrow that excelled last week in Italy is retained en bloc; Max Deegan scored a brace of tries.


On the bench secondrow Jack Dunne and scrumhalf Patrick Patterson are set to win their second caps.

The Kings have opted to rotate their squad following a poor performance against Munster that was undermined by indiscipline, something that head coach Deon Davids has spoken to his players about and the need for a massive improvement in that regard.

The South African side are unlikely to prove as brittle as they were last week, and do possess pace out wide if Leinster are careless in possession or switch off defensively. However, if the home side get quick, front-foot ball then it could be a long night for the Kings.

LEINSTER:  B Daly; F McFadden, C O'Brien, N Reid, J Lowe; R Byrne, H O'Sullivan; E Byrne, R Kelleher, A Porter; R Molony (Capt),  M Kearney; J Murphy, M Deegan, C Doris.

Replacements: J Tracy, P Dooley, M Bent, J Dunne, S Fardy, P Patterson, J O'Brien, R O'Loughlin.

SOUTHERN KINGS: U Beyers; Y Penxe, M Rokoua, B Klaasen, B Basson; B Pretorius, S Pretorius; A Tshakweni, M Willemse (capt), DJ Terblanche; S Greeff, A Van Schalkwyk; H Brown, M Burger, R Lerm.

Replacements: A Van Rooyen, S Ferreira, P Scholtz, JC Astle, A Ntsila, S Ungerer, T Kruger, M Banda.

Referee: S Grove-White (Scotland)

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan is an Irish Times sports writer