Thursday 23 November 2017

Mike Ross starts as Leinster ring in the changes for Glasgow visit

Mike Ross of Leinster during squad training at Rosemount in Belfield, UCD, Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Mike Ross of Leinster during squad training at Rosemount in Belfield, UCD, Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Retiring Leinster prop Mike Ross will return to the Leinster starting XV for Friday's visit of Glasgow at the RDS with head coach Leo Cullen making 13 changes to the side that lost to Clermont in the Champions Cup semi-final last weekend.

Ross will make his 152nd appearance for the province against the Warriors tomorrow night after announcing earlier this week that he will make his retirement from professional rugby at the end of the season.

The former Ireland prop will join a new look Leinster front-row alongside loosehead prop Peter Dooley and hooker James Tracy, with number eight Jack Conan the only survivor in the pack from the loss to Clermont.

Lock Ross Molony will captain Leinster for the first time tomorrow and he will be joined in the second-row by Mick Kearney, with Dominic Ryan and Josh van der Flier replacing Rhys Ruddock and Dan Leavy at the back, with Leavy set to start from the bench in a direct swap with van der Flier at openside.

Meanwhile winger Fergus McFadden is the only back to maintain his place in the starting side with full-back Joey Carberry dropping to the bench while the rest of the Champions Cup side have seemingly been given the week off.

UCD scrum-half Nick McCarthy will partner clubmate Ross Byrne in the halves while Tom Daly and Rory O'Loughlin will replace Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose in the centres.

Winger Adam Byrne will also make his return to the starting side and will join McFadden on the wings while Springbok Zane Kirchner will replace Carberry at full-back.

Leinster team to play Glasgow (caps in brackets):

15. Zane Kirchner (86)

14. Adam Byrne (21)

13. Rory O’Loughlin (19)

12. Tom Daly (8)

11. Fergus McFadden (150)

10. Ross Byrne (21)

9. Nick McCarthy (6)

1. Peter Dooley (37)

2. James Tracy (39)

3. Mike Ross (151)

4. Ross Molony (42) CAPTAIN

5. Mick Kearney (20)

6. Dominic Ryan (112)

7. Josh van der Flier (43)

8. Jack Conan (49)

 

16. Richardt Strauss (144)

17. Jack McGrath (110)

18. Michael Bent (85)

19. Ian Nagle (10)

20. Dan Leavy (36)

21. Jamison Gibson-Park (26)

22. Joey Carbery (20)

23. Noel Reid (80)

 

Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR, 66th competition game)

Assistant Referees:  Rhys Thomas (WRU), Simone Boaretto (FIR)

Citing Commissioner: Eddie Walsh (IRFU)

TMO: Alan Falzone (FIR)

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