Sunday 20 May 2018

Tuqiri replaces injured O'Driscoll for Leinster's grudge match with Munster

BOD in race against time to be fit for Heineken Cup opener

Lote Tuqiri
Lote Tuqiri

Lote Tuqiri replaces the injured Brian O'Driscoll in Matt O'Connor starting XV for tomorrow night's crunch clash between Leinster and Munster at Thomond Park.

O'Driscoll picked up a calf injury in training this week and is touch-and-go for Leinster's Heineken Cup opener away to the Ospreys next weekend.

Jamie Heaslip will captain Leinster for the 16th time when he lines up in the back row alongside Sean O'Brien.

Devin Toner and Mike McCarthy are the preferred second row partnership with the front-row comprising Cian Healy, Sean Cronin and Mike Ross .

Ian Madigan starts at out-half alongside Eoin Reddan in the half-backs while Tuqiri comes in the partner Gordon D'Arcy in the centre.

Dave Kearney will return to Thomond Park six months after he suffered a concussion after was kicked in the head by Paul O'Connell, with Rob Kearney and Fergus McFadden rounding up the back three.

Luke Fitzgerald is named on the replacements bench having been sidelined since the opening round victory over the Scarlets.

Fitzgerald is included alongside fellow backs Isaac Boss and Jimmy Gopperth, with young flanker Dominic Ryan standing back to win his 50th Leinster cap.

Leinster team to play Munster: (15-9) Rob Kearney; Fergus McFadden, Lote Tuqiri, Gordon D'Arcy, David Kearney; Ian Madigan, Eoin Reddan; (1-8) Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Mike Ross, Mike McCarthy, Devin Toner, Kevin McLaughlin, Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip (capt).

Replacements: (16-23) Aaron Dundon, Jack McGrath, Martin Moore, Rhys Ruddock, Dominic Ryan, Isaac Boss, Jimmy Gopperth, Luke Fitzgerald

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