Leinster rugby team to play Edinburgh – Kick off 6:30pm Saturday

Leinster rugby team to play Edinburgh –  Kick off 6:30pm Saturday has been named.  

Coach Matt O’Connor has made eight changes in total from the game last Friday against Ulster but it is one change in particular in the back row that will garner most attention and will delight Leinster supporters.

Sean O’Brien makes his first appearance in the RaboDirect PRO12 since the December fixture in the RDS against Ulster that ultimately threatened his entire season. Carried off that evening with a shoulder injury it was thought that his season would be over but his recovery has gone to plan and is actually ahead of schedule so much so that O’Connor has recalled him to the starting XV at a most crucial point in the year.

Jordi Murphy and Jamie Heaslip complete the back row, Murphy coming in for one of last week’s try scorers Shane Jennings. The other changes in the pack sees a completely new front row as recently crowned Leinster Rugby Players’ Player of the Year Jack McGrath, lines out with Richardt Strauss and Mike Ross.

Leo Cullen captains the side form the second row in place of Devin Toner with Mike McCarthy beside him.

There are two changes to the backs with Rob Kearney making way for the returning Fergus McFadden who takes his place on the right wing, with Zane Kirchner taking over the number 15 jersey. McFadden’s return is another timely boost as there had been doubts about whether or not he could return in time for the end of season run in.

Dave Kearney is once again selected on the left wing, as are Gordon D’Arcy and Brian O’Driscoll in the centre.

The final change is a straight swap at outhalf with Jimmy Gopperth coming in for his 27th Leinster cap, with 212 points to his name this year and Ian Madigan reverting to the bench.

Last December in Murrayfield, Edinburgh won 11-6. Dougie Fife’s 31st minute try proved to be the difference on a difficult night for rugby with the rain and wind causing both teams issues. Ian Madigan kicked all of Leinster’s points.

15: Zane Kirchner
14: Fergus McFadden
13: Brian O’Driscoll
12: Gordon D’Arcy
11: Dave Kearney
10: Jimmy Gopperth
9: Isaac Boss
1: Jack McGrath
2: Richardt Strauss
3: Mike Ross
4: Leo Cullen
5: Mike McCarthy
6: Sean O’Brien
7: Jordi Murphy
8: Jamie Heaslip

16: Sean Cronin
17: Cian Healy
18: Martin Moore
19: Rhys Ruddock
20: Dominic Ryan
21: Luke McGrath
22: Ian Madigan
23: Rob Kearney

Referee: Leighton Hodges (WRU) Assistant Referees: Peter Fitzgibbon, Kieran Barry (both IRFU) Citing Commissioner: Peter Ferguson (IRFU) TMO: Seamus Flannery (IRFU)


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