Pro14 Rugby Final – Leinster V Munster – Team News, Stats & Kick Off Time

leinster v munster pro14 final
leinster v munster pro14 final

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It the Pro14 Rugby Final on Saturday, kick-off 5pm. We have team news, stats, and all you need to know about Leinster v Munster.

Leinster and Munster clash in the Guinness PRO14 final at the RDS Arena on Saturday with the hosts going in search of a fourth consecutive title while their visitors chase their first in a decade.

Every final in the competition’s history has featured at least one of these sides but this will be the first meeting between the two in the showpiece since 2011, when Munster came out on top.

Leinster earned their place by finishing seven points clear of Ulster at the summit of Conference A while Munster topped Conference B by 19 points from Connacht.

The victors will become the 20th champions since the competition started life as the Celtic League in 2001, with these sides also having contested the first final. Leinster were the champions on that occasion.

Leinster went unbeaten on their way to the title last season but have proven themselves to be human this time around after suffering home defeats to Connacht and the Ospreys – the latter in dramatic fashion last weekend.

They have won their last five meetings with Munster and have dashed the hopes of the men from Limerick at the semi-final stage in each of the past three seasons, going on to lift the title on every occasion. Munster’s last win against Leinster came back in December 2018 when they were 26-17 victors at Thomond Park.

Of 161 matches played between the sides in all competitions, Leinster have won 102 to Munster’s 48.

Leinster have appeared in nine of the 11 finals held since the return of the play-offs in the 2009-10 season. The Dubliners are chasing their eighth title overall and were 27-5 victors over Ulster in last year’s final.

Munster, who have been crowned champions on three previous occasions, have finished as runners-up twice since they last lifted the trophy with a 19-9 victory over Leinster in 2011. They came up short against Glasgow Warriors in 2015 before losing to the Scarlets two years later.

Team news
Luke McGrath will captain the side for the first time in a major final, while Devin Toner will become the most capped Leinster Rugby player of all time when he takes to the field in Leinster blue for the 262nd time.

Hugo Keenan starts at full back having played in every minute of Ireland’s recent Guinness 6 Nations campaign, with Jordan Larmour on the right wing and Dave Kearney on the left. Kearney has scored ten tries in all competitions for Leinster this season.

In the centre Robbie Henshaw will wear the number 12 jersey with Rory O’Loughlin starting in a final for the first time outside him.

In the half backs, 28-year-old McGrath will captain Leinster Rugby for the first time in a major final. The scrum half, who has 19 Ireland caps to his name, made his Leinster debut against the Dragons in May 2012 and has played a total of 144 times for his native province.

He will be joined by fellow St. Michael’s College alumni Ross Byrne.

In the pack, there is a return for a trio of players involved with Ireland last weekend against England as Cian Healy, Rónan Kelleher and Andrew Porter start in the front row.

Scott Fardy, who wins his 75th cap, will be partnered in the second row by record breaker Toner.

The Meath man made his Leinster Rugby debut in January 2006 against Border Reivers and has since gone on to also win 70 Ireland caps in a stellar career in blue and in green.

Finally the back row sees Rhys Ruddock at blindside flanker, with Josh van der Flier at openside and Jack Conan named at number eight.

On the replacements bench there is another possible landmark for Jamison Gibson-Park with the scrumhalf in line to win his 100th cap should he be introduced. He made his debut in September 2016 against Benetton Rugby.

While James Lowe is in line to win his 50th cap for Leinster.

Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):

15. Hugo Keenan (24)
14. Jordan Larmour (54)
13. Rory O’Loughlin (79)
12. Robbie Henshaw (53)
11. Dave Kearney (164)
10. Ross Byrne (97)
9. Luke McGrath (144) CAPTAIN
1. Cian Healy (226)
2. Rónan Kelleher (19)
3. Andrew Porter (71)
4. Devin Toner (261)
5. Scott Fardy (74)
6. Rhys Ruddock (185)
7. Josh van der Flier (91)
8. Jack Conan (100)

16. James Tracy (124)
17. Ed Byrne (64)
18. Tadhg Furlong (109)
19. Ross Molony (111)
20. Ryan Baird (19)
21. Jamison Gibson-Park (99)
22. Johnny Sexton (171)
23. James Lowe (49)

Mike Haley starts at full-back with Andrew Conway and Keith Earls completing the back three.

Damian de Allende and Chris Farrell form the centre partnership as Conor Murray and Joey Carbery start in the half-backs together for the first time this season.

James Cronin, Niall Scannell and John Ryan pack down in the front row with Jean Kleyn and Tadhg Beirne starting in the engine room.

Gavin Coombes, captain Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander complete the starting XV.

Dave Kilcoyne has completed the return to play protocols and is named among the replacements.

Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Gavin Coombes, Peter O’Mahony (C), CJ Stander.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Jack O’Donoghue, Craig Casey, JJ Hanrahan, Rory Scannell.

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