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Leinster team to face Connacht


28 Oct 2016

Jamison Gibson-Park

Leinster Rugby Head Coach Leo Cullen has announced his match day 23 to take on reigning Guinness PRO12 champions Connacht in the RDS Arena tomorrow (Kick Off: 5.15pm – live on SKY Sports).

There are over 17,000 tickets sold with the last remaining tickets still to be found on leinsterrugby.ie/tickets and also from the ticket office inside the Anglesea Road gate on match day from 3.45pm.

There are ten changes in total from the team that faced Montpellier in the Champions Cup last Sunday.

Isa Nacewa is the only back retained by Cullen, with the Fijian international, who scored a try and four successful kicks last weekend, moving from the left wing to take up the full back position.

UCD’s Adam Byrne makes his first start of the season on the right wing with fellow UCD man Barry Daly making his first Leinster start on the left having already made an appearance off the bench in Cardiff. Daly has scored four tries in two games for the Leinster ‘A’ team over the last two weekends in the British & Irish Cup.

Two former St. Michael’s pupils Noel Reid and Rory O’Loughlin come into the centre with Jamison Gibson-Park and Joey Carbery, who was announced in the Ireland squad this week, the half back pairing.

In the pack there is one change in the front row as Seán Cronin starts at hooker with Cian Healy at loose head and Mike Ross at tight head.

Mick Kearney again starts in the second row but is joined by Ian Nagle this week.

Finally in the back row Seán O’Brien again starts but moves from blind side to open side with his place in the number six jersey taken by Dan Leavy.

Jack Conan makes his first competitive senior appearance of the season from number eight having played with the Leinster ‘A’ team over the last two weekends. Conan has recovered from an ankle injury picked up in the pre-season game against Gloucester.

UCD’s Ross Byrne is in line to make his first appearance of the season off the bench. The Academy outhalf made three appearances in total last season.

LEINSTER: (caps in brackets)

15. Isa Nacewa (154) CAPTAIN
14. Adam Byrne (4)
13. Rory O’Loughlin (4)
12. Noel Reid (66)
11. Barry Daly (1)
10. Joey Carbery (8)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (8)

1. Cian Healy (160)
2. Sean Cronin (120)
3. Mike Ross (142)
4. Mick Kearney (13)
5. Ian Nagle (4)
6. Dan Leavy (21)
7. Sean O’Brien (103)
8. Jack Conan (31)

16. James Tracy (23)
17. Peter Dooley (24)
18. Michael Bent (67)
19. Mike McCarthy (66)
20. Josh van der Flier (31)
21. Luke McGrath (57)
22. Ross Byrne (3)
23. Rob Kearney (181)

Referee: John Lacey (IRFU, 57th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Andy Brace, Jonathan Peak (both IRFU)
Citing Commissioner: Tim Lowry (IRFU)
TMO: Olly Hodges (IRFU)