Rhys Ruddock returns to captain Leinster against Cheetahs

Andrew Porter named on the bench with Dave Kearney at fullback for Pro14 clash

Pro14, Leinster v Cheetahs, Friday March 1st, RDS Arena (kick-off 7.35pm, eirSport)

Rhys Ruddock returns from injury to lead Leinster in their clash against the Cheetahs at the RDS Arena on Friday night.

Ruddock missed Ireland’s Six Nations trip to play Italy last weekend with a hamstring strain, but returns to provincial action against the South Africans.

He is joined in the Leinster backrow by number eight Caelan Dorris and openside Max Deegan, with Ross Molony and Scott Fardy - who signed a new deal with the province this week - in the engine room.

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Peter Dooley, Bryan Byrne and Michael Bent start in the frontrow, with Andrew Porter named among the replacements.

In the backline, Dave Kearney starts at fullback, with Adam Byrne and Fergus McFadden on the wings.

Conor O’Brien joins Rory O’Loughlin in midfield while Ross Byrne and Jamison Gibson Park starting in the halfbacks.

Leinster: Dave Kearney; Adam Byrne, Rory O'Loughlin, Conor O'Brien, Fergus McFadden; Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Peter Dooley, Bryan Byrne, Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Scott Fardy, Rhys Ruddock, Max Deegan, Caelan Doris. Replacements: James Tracy, Ed Byrne, Andrew Porter, Mick Kearney, Josh Murphy, Hugh O'Sullivan, Noel Reid, Barry Daly.

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)