Cian Healy returns as Leo Cullen makes changes ahead of trip to Glasgow
Cian Healy returns to the Leinster side as Leo Cullen makes eight changes to the team that beat Ulster last weekend ahead of tomorrow's clash away to Glasgow.
After a week off to manage his work-load, Healy returned to training on Monday rejuvenated and ready to help his side build on the victory over Ulster last time out.
The win over Ulster has given Leinster a much-needed boost after consecutive defeats in the Champions Cup but tomorrow's clash against the defending champions Glasgow Warriors is just as crucial as the Blues look to continue their climb up the Pro12 ladder.
Rob Kearney is again selected to start from full back, although he failed a late fitness test last week and didn't start with Isa Nacewa filling in for the 67 times Irish capped full back.
Zane Kirchner is again selected on the right wing with Dave Kearney coming in on the left. Last week's Guinness PRO12 Man of the Match Luke Fitzgerald moves from the left wing to inside centre for his 145th Leinster cap. Ben Te'o will line up alongside him at 13.
In the half backs Ian Madigan shifts from the centre to number 10, with Eoin Reddan starting at scrumhalf in his 125th appearance in blue. Reddan came on after 31 minutes against Ulster for the injured Luke McGrath.
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It's a completely new front row as Cullen calls up three Irish capped front rowers in Healy, Richardt Strauss and Marty Moore, while Tom Denton comes in to partner Mike McCarthy in the second row.
Rhys Ruddock and Josh van der Flier will start at blind side and open side respectively, while Jordi Murphy comes in at the base of the scrum. Rudock will also captain the team for the first time this season as he closes in on 100 caps for the province.
"There's big positivity in there and we'd had a couple of meetings before the time off, so coming in and getting to put all of that into place was nice," Healy said.
"It was an important win, we wanted to show that we could bounce back and come together as a unit, as all of our units - pack, backline and all that.
"I think by all accounts training went well last week and the lads worked everything through in scrum and lineout, what we wanted to achieve. From looking at it, it went through well to the game.
"It's been pretty hectic getting back into the swing of things, but it's been enjoyable.
"It was strange then getting a week (off) last week to get the body in check.
"I'm happy enough to chill out. I did a bit, did a bit of running and stuff to keep the lungs burning, but I'd steer clear of the gym and all that for a while."
Glasgow sit just one place behind Leinster and the Scots have had their own problems this season but Healy knows how dangerous they are, especially at the breakdown.
Glasgow have won their last three league games since Leinster beat them at the RDS in October and with all the returning World Cup players back in tow, Healy is expecting another titanic contest.
"They're fairly dangerous at the breakdown. I think they've been collision kings or whatever it's called for a couple of years," the loosehead prop maintained.
"It's a dangerous part of it, if we get stuck on our own we're going to turn over a lot of ball.
"I think that part of their game, if we nail that well, it's something that will bring us along for the rest of the season.
“That’s something that could massively pay off for us down the line if we nail that in our ruck and our tackle area.”
15. Rob Kearney
14. Zane Kirchner
13. Ben Te'o
12. Luke Fitzgerald
11. Dave Kearney
10. Ian Madigan
9. Eoin Reddan
1. Cian Healy
2. Richardt Strauss
3. Marty Moore
4. Tom Denton
5. Mike McCarthy
6. Rhys Ruddock CAPTAIN
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jordi Murphy
16. Sean Cronin
17. Peter Dooley
18. Tadhg Furlong
19. Ross Molony
20. Dominic Ryan
21. Isaac Boss
22. Cathal Marsh
23. Garry Ringrose