Leinster & Connacht name teams for derby clash

The Leinster & Connacht teams have been named for Friday night’s RaboDirect PRO12 interprovincial derby in the Sportsground, Galway. Kick off 8pm.

Dan Parks will have a baptism of fire for Connacht tomorrow night as the former Scotland outhalf makes his debut in the province’s first derby of the season.

Connacht host Leinster at the Sportsground tomorrow night and Eric Elwood has made a number of changes to his side from the one that lost in Glasgow last Friday night.

Captain Gavin Duffy suffered an injury in that defeat and he is replaced at fullback by Robbie Henshaw. The 19 year old made his competitive debut for Connacht in Glasgow, starting at centre having impressed in three appearances from the bench.

Eoin Griffin returns from injury to partner Dave McSharry in the centre, while Fetu’u Vainikolo and Tiernan O’Halloran both return to the wing. Mark McCrea and James Loxton drop to the bench.

Elwood has reshuffled his pack. Prop Nathan White will captain Connacht against his former team and he is joined in the front row by Denis Buckley, with Brett Wilkinson the player to miss out.

Michael Swift returns to the side for the visit of the European champions and the game will be the Connacht legend’s 150th league appearance. Mike McCarthy will start alongside Swift in the second row and George Naoupu moves to the backrow. He will be joined by Eoin McKeon and Johnny O’Connor with Dave Gannon and Willie Faloon the players to miss out.

Ireland international Rob Kearney will make his first seasonal start – and 121st Leinster appearance – and the Louth man is named in a backline which also includes Fergus McFadden who starts on the right wing.

Gordon D’Arcy will be partnered by Brendan Macken, who scored a brace of tries last weekend, with Isa Nacewa moving to the left wing. John Cooney links up with Ian Madigan at half back.

In the pack, Shane Jennings leads the team and he is joined in the pack by Ben Marshall and Quinn Roux – with the South African lock set to make his 2nd appearance for the province.

Heinke van der Merwe comes into the front row, while the province can call on an all-Ireland international front row off the bench in ex Connacht hooker Sean Cronin, Cian Healy and Mike Ross.

KO for Connacht v Leinster is 8pm in the Sportsground.

Connacht XV

15. Robbie Henshaw
14. Tiernan O’Halloran
13. Eoin Griffin
12. Dave McSharry
11. Fetu’u Vainikolo
10. Dan Parks
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Denis Buckley
2. Adrian Flavin
3. Nathan White (captain)
4. Michael Swift
5. Mike McCarthy
6. Eoin McKeon
7. Johnny O’Connor
8. George Naoupu

Replacements (from):

16. Jason Harris-Wright
17. Brett Wilkinson
18. Ronan Loughney
19. Dave Gannon
20. Willie Faloon
21. Dave Moore
22. Miah Nikora
23. Mata Fifita


15: Rob Kearney
14: Fergus McFadden
13: Brendan Macken
12: Gordon D’Arcy
11: Isa Nacewa
10: Ian Madigan
9: John Cooney

1: Heinke van der Merwe
2: Thomas Sexton
3: Jamie Hagan
4: Quinn Roux
5: Tom Denton
6: Ben Marshall
7: Shane Jennings CAPTAIN
8: Leo Auva’a


16: Sean Cronin
17: Cian Healy
18: Mike Ross
19: Devin Toner
20: Jordi Murphy
21: Luke McGrath
22: Noel Reid
23: Fionn Carr


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.