Wednesday 18 October 2017

Two changes for Leinster, Zebo at full-back for Munster, Henderson in for Ulster and Muliaina to captain Connacht

Dominic Ryan has been named in the Leinster team to face Wasps at the Ricoh Arena
Dominic Ryan has been named in the Leinster team to face Wasps at the Ricoh Arena
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

Leinster Rugby head coach Matt O'Connor has made two team changes for tomorrow's winner-takes-all Champions Cup encounter with Wasps at the Ricoh Arena.

Leinster

Kane Douglas and flanker Dominic Ryan have been drafted in as Mike McCarthy and Jack Conan make way.

As expected captain Jamie Heaslip has been declared fit to lead the side having been withdrawn early in the second half against Castres last weekend and does so from the base of the scrum.

As announced earlier this week the game came a fraction too early for Sean O'Brien and Cian Healy, while as expected captain Jamie Heaslip has been declared fit to lead the side having been withdrawn early in the second half against Castres last weekend and does so from the base of the scrum.

The other change is on the bench and sees Isaac Boss come in for Luke McGrath.

Leinster team v Wasps: Rob Kearney; Fergus McFadden, Luke Fitzgerald, Ian Madigan, Dave Kearney; Jimmy Gopperth, Eoin Reddan; Michael Bent, Sean Cronin, Marty Moore; Devin Toner, Kane Douglas; Dominic Ryan, Jordi Murphy, Jamie Heaslip (Capt.).

Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Jamie Hagan, Tadhg Furlong, Mike McCarthy, Jack Conan, Isaac Boss, Gordon D’Arcy, Darragh Fanning.

Munster

Antony Foley has made alterations to his Munster team that was comprehensively defeated by Saracens last time out, with injury forcing his hand with Felix Jones failing a fitness test. Simon Zebo will take over at 15, while Ronan O'Mahony makes his first start in Europe on the wing.

Keith Earls starts after his second half appearance last week at the expense of Pat Howard, while Dave O'Callaghan comes into the backrow.

Munster team v Sale: Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Denis Hurley, Ronan O'Mahony; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Duncan Casey, BJ Botha; Dave Foley, Paul O'Connell; Dave O'Callaghan, Tommy O'Donnell, Peter O'Mahony - capt.

Replacements: Eusebio Guinazu, John Ryan, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Robin Copeland, Ivan Dineen, JJ Hanrahan, Pat Howard.

Ulster

Ulster's dead rubber against Leicester will see Irish international Iain Henderson make his first start of the season.

The 22 year-old suffered a hip-injury in pre-season and comes back into the side at blindside flanker.

The return of Henderson is one of eight changes to the starting XV that lost to Toulon in Stade Mayol last weekend.

Ireland Internationals Tommy Bowe, Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy and Rory Best all return to the team. The other changes see Ian Humphreys named at outhalf, Callum Black selected at loosehead and Wiehahn Herbst picked at tighthead.

Ulster team v Leicester: Jared Payne; Tommy Bowe, Darren Cave, Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy; Ian Humphreys, Ruan Pienaar; Callum Black, Rory Best (Capt.), Wiehahn Herbst; Alan O’Connor, Franco Van Der Merwe; Iain Henderson, Mike McComish, Roger Wilson.

Replacements: Rob Herring, Andy Warwick, Bronson Ross, Lewis Stevenson, Clive Ross, Neil McComb, Paul Marshall, Michael Allen.

Connacht

In the Challenge Cup, Connacht head coach Pat Lam has made six changes to his team to face La Rochelle with Kiwi Mils Muliaina handed the captain's armband.

Connacht can secure one of the three runner-up spots with a win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening and Ronan Loughney, Nathan White, Andrew Browne and Eoin McKeon all come into the pack.

In the backs, Robbie Henshaw is ruled out through injury so Danie Poolman shifts across to start at 13 outside Conor Finn, while Darragh Leader is given the nod on the right wing.

"As someone who has captained both the All Blacks and the Chiefs, his experience and influence on and off the park will be crucial for us tomorrow in a tough environment," Lam explained.

Connacht team to play La Rochelle: Mils Muliaina (c), Darragh Leader, Danie Poolman, Conor Finn, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion, Ronan Louhgney, Tom McCartney, Nathan White, Quinn Roux, Andrew Browne, Eoin McKeon, Willie Faloon, George Naoupu.

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, JP Cooney, Finlay Bealham, Danny Qualter, John Muldoon, Caolin Blade, Miah Nikora, Niyi Adeolokun

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