Thursday 27 October 2016

Leinster boss Matt O'Connor makes five changes to team for Treviso clash

Published 07/05/2015 | 12:31

Jimmy Gopperth
Jimmy Gopperth

Leinster Head Coach Matt O'Connor has made five changes to his starting XV for tomorrow evening's clash with Treviso at the RDS (kick-off 7.35pm, live on TG4).

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Dave Kearney wasn't available for the defeat to Ulster a fortnight ago with a hip flexor injury but returns to take his place on the left wing in place of Luke Fitzgerald who had surgery last weekend on his shoulder. Zane Kirchner is selected on the right wing, with Rob Kearney again at full back.

Ian Madigan returns at centre with Ben Te'o again selected at outside centre for his 13th game of the campaign. To date he has four tries to his name. Eoin Reddan and Jimmy Gopperth complete the backs, selected at scrum half and outhalf respectively.

Barring a play-off for Champions Cup qualification, Friday will be Jimmy Gopperth's last home game in the blue of Leinster before he leaves for Wasps in the summer. To date the New Zealand native has scored 347 points in 57 appearances for Leinster.

In the front row Jack McGrath starts, together with Richardt Strauss and Mike Ross. Devin Toner and Mike McCarthy are once again selected in the second row. The Treviso game will be Mike McCarthy's 50th cap since his move from Connacht two seasons ago.

The back row consists of Jordi Murphy at blindside flanker, Sean O'Brien at openside and Jamie Heaslip captains the side from the base of the scrum.

With Shane Jennings due to retire at the end of the season and Gordon D'Arcy due to retire at the end of October, Leinster Rugby supporters are being asked to pay their respects to two stalwarts of the club and of the game at the RDS tomorrow evening.

Shane Jennings will be introduced to the crowd just before the game, while Gordon D'Arcy will be introduced to the crowd after the game. A golden opportunity to thank and to wish well two great servants of the game in both blue and green.

LEINSTER: (15-9) Rob Kearney, Zane Kirchner, Ben Te'o, Ian Madigan, Dave Kearney, Jimmy Gopperth, Eoin Reddan; (1-8) Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Mike McCarthy, Jordi Murphy, Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip (c)

Replacements: (16-23)Aaron Dundon, Michael Bent, Tadhg Furlong, Tom Denton, Jack Conan, Isaac Boss, Gordon D'Arcy, Darragh Fanning

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