Friday 20 September 2019

Leinster name much-changed team to face Connacht as Leo Cullen targets Munster showdown at Thomond Park

14 December 2018; Head coach Leo Cullen during the Leinster Rugby captains run at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
14 December 2018; Head coach Leo Cullen during the Leinster Rugby captains run at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Leo Cullen has made 12 changes to his Leinster team to face Connacht on Saturday night, with the Champions Cup and PRO 14 champions set to name a strong side to take on Munster at Thomond Park the following weekend.

Adam Byrne, Dan Leavy and Rory O'Loughlin are the three survivors from Leinster's European win against Bath, with Cullen opting to rotate his side for the first festive inter-pro.

Rhys Ruddock will captain the side from blindside flanker, with Ross Byrne to line up at out-half. Leinster's selection opens the door for players like Johnny Sexton, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy and Garry Ringrose to feature against Munster at Thomond Park on December 29.

For Connacht, Andy Friend has recalled Ireland internationals Bundee Aki, Ultan Dillane and Finlay Bealham for the trip to the RDS.

Leinster

15. Hugo Keenan

14. Adam Byrne

13. Rory O’Loughlin

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12. Conor O’Brien

11. Dave Kearney

10. Ross Byrne

9. Jamison Gibson-Park

1. Peter Dooley

2. Bryan Byrne

3. Michael Bent

4. Mick Kearney

5. Scott Fardy

6. Rhys Ruddock (captain)

7. Dan Leavy

8. Caelan Doris.

 

Replacements

16. Seán Cronin

17. Ed Byrne

18. Andrew Porter

19. Ross Molony

20. Max Deegan

21. Hugh O’Sullivan

22. Ciarán Frawley

23. Noel Reid.

 

Connacht

15. Tiernan O’Halloran

14. Cian Kelleher

13. Kyle Godwin

12. Tom Farrell

11. Darragh Leader

10. Jack Carty

9. Caolin Blade

1. Denis Buckley

2. Tom McCartney

3. Finlay Bealham

4. Ultan Dillane

5. Gavin Thornbury

6. Jarrad Butler (Capt)

7. Colby Fainga’a

8. Paul Boyle.

 

Replacements

16. Shane Delahunt

17. Peter McCabe

18. Dominic Robertson McCoy

19. James Cannon

20. Eoghan Masterson

21. James Mitchell

22. David Horwitz

23. Bundee Aki.

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