Nine internationals return to starting XV for Leinster against Connacht

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Leo Cullen has named his Leinster side to face Connacht this Friday night, with several familiar faces making their returns (KO 7.45 pm).

Cullen has been able to call on a selection of internationals that were involved in the November window.

Two of those, Hugo Keenan and James Lowe, will line out in the back three where they are joined by Jordan Larmour.

Robbie Henshaw swaps from outside centre to inside while Garry Ringrose returns to don the number 13 shirt.

Luke McGrath will lead the side out as captain and he is partnered in the half-backs by Harry Byrne, who made a late cameo against Ulster last week.

In the pack, Cian Healy, newly-capped international Dan Sheehan and Samoan star Michael Ala’alatoa make up the front row with Ryan Baird and Devin Toner slotting in behind them.

Autumn Nations Player of the Series Caelan Doris starts at No 8 where he is flanked by the familiar presence of Rhys Ruddock and Josh van der Flier.

Josh Murphy will reach a half-century of appearances for the province if he is introduced from the bench.

He’s joined in the replacements by Rónan Kelleher, Andrew Porter, Vakh Abdaladze, Max Deegan, Nick McCarthy, Ross Byrne, and Tommy O’Brien.

Leinster Team v Connacht

15. Hugo Keenan (34)
14. Jordan Larmour (65)
13. Garry Ringrose (90)
12. Robbie Henshaw (58)
11. James Lowe (55)
10. Harry Byrne (26)
9. Luke McGrath (156) CAPTAIN

1. Cian Healy (236)
2. Dan Sheehan (17)
3. Michael Alaalatoa (5)
4. Ryan Baird (32)
5. Devin Toner (269)
6. Rhys Ruddock (194)
7. Josh van der Flier (102)
8. Caelan Doris (43)

Replacements:

16. Rónan Kelleher (28)
17. Andrew Porter (80)
18. Vakh Abdaladze (13)
19. Josh Murphy (49)
20. Max Deegan (69)
21. Nick McCarthy (39)
22. Ross Byrne (109)
23. Tommy O’Brien (11)

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