Saturday 20 January 2018

Leinster boss Matt O'Connor make three changes for Pro12 decider

Brian O'Driscoll
Brian O'Driscoll

Brian O'Driscoll has been selected in his customary role of outside centre for his final game as a professional rugby player.

Matt O'Connor has made three changes from the team that defeated Ulster in the semi-final for the winner-takes-all showdown with the Glasgow Warriors at the RDS tomorrow evening (6.15pm kick-off).

Mike Ross comes in for Martin Moore while Mike McCarthy returns from injury in place of Quinn Roux. The final change sees Zane Kirchner coming in for Dave Kearney who undergoes surgery on an ACL knee injury today.

Elsewhere it is as you were for O'Connor with full back Rob Kearney due to win his 150th cap for the province.

The teams have met twice this year with both sides winning at home. Glasgow won 12-6 back in September in Scotstoun, while Leinster won the return fixture 28-25 in March with tries from Rhys Ruddock, Noel Reid and Darragh Fanning.

O'Driscoll will finish his career alongside centre partner Gordon D'Arcy.

Meanwhile, Gregor Townsend has made two personnel changes to the team which beat Munster 16-15 in the semi-final with Peter Horne coming in for Mark Bennett at centre and Gordon Reid replacing Ryan Grant at prop.

There is one positional switch in the backline with Alex Dunbar moving to outside centre, with Horne coming in at number 12.

Leinster starting XV: (15-9) Rob Kearney, Fergus McFadden, Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy, Zane Kirchner, Jimmy Gopperth, Eoin Reddan; (1-8) Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Mike McCarthy, Rhys Ruddock, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip (c).

Replacements: (16-23) Aaron Dundon, Jack McGrath, Martin Moore, Leo Cullen, Sean O'Brien, Isaac Boss, Ian Madigan, Darragh Fanning.   

Glasgow starting XV: (15-9)Peter Murchie; Sean Maitland, Alex Dunbar, Peter Horne, Tommy Seymour; Finn Russell, Chris Cusiter; (1-8) Gordon Reid, Dougie Hall, Jon Welsh; Jonny Gray, Al Kellock (Capt.); Rob Harley, Chris Fusaro, Josh Strauss.

Replacements: (16-32) Pat MacArthur, Ryan Grant, Moray Low, Tim Swinson, Leone Nakarawa, Niko Matawalu, Ruaridh Jackson, Sean Lamont.

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