Ruddock returns to action to lead Leinster
Injury deprived him of an opportunity to stake an Ireland claim last week, but Rhys Ruddock returns to the Leinster side as captain for tonight's Guinness PRO14 clash with the Cheetahs at the RDS.
Adam Byrne is released from the national squad to play on the wing, while Andrew Porter remains with the province after missing out on the trip to Rome. Apart from losing his players to rival provinces, Leo Cullen's chief concern right now is guarding against complacency given their 22-point lead in Conference B. They should have enough against a Cheetahs side who played well against Connacht, but slumped to a big loss against Scarlets last week.
LEINSTER - D Kearney; A Byrne, R O'Loughlin, C O'Brien, F McFadden; R Byrne, J Gibson-Park; P Dooley, B Byrne, M Bent; R Molony, S Fardy; R Ruddock (capt), M Deegan, C Doris. Reps: J Tracy, E Byrne, A Porter, M Kearney, J Murphy, H O'Sullivan, N Reid, B Daly.
CHEETAHS - L Fouche; W Small-Smith, B Janse van Rensburg, D Swanepoel, R Maxwane; T Schoeman, T Meyer (capt); O Nche, R Venter, A Coetzee; W Steenkamp, JP du Preez; G Olivier, A Nonkontwana, J Pokomela. Reps: J du Toit, C Marais, L de Bruin, S Manjezi, M van der Merwe, H Venter, R Paige, S Venter.
Ref - N Owens (Wales)
Leinster v Cheetahs, Live, eir Sport, 7.35