LEINSTER HAVE OPTED to take a host of front-line players out of the firing line for Sunday’s Guinness Pro12 clash with the Dragons [KO 16.14, S4C], as their Champions Cup semi-final against Toulon looms.
Head coach Matt O’Connor this afternoon named his team to face the Dragons, with the likes of Rob Kearney, Ian Madigan, Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Devin Toner, Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip absent.
D’Arcy and Jack Conan are back in the XV. Source: James Crombie/INPHO
Jordi Murphy and Luke Fitzgerald, meanwhile, drop to the bench.
This clash with the Dragons remains absolutely pivotal to Leinster’s Pro12 ambitions, as they currently sit fifth in the league and outside the play-off positions.
O’Connor has called on men such as Zane Kirchner, Gordon D’Arcy and Shane Jennings to lend their experience to the occasion, while trusted out-half Jimmy Gopperth will direct their game plan.
Ben Te’o gets his latest run-out at 13, while Dave Kearney is introduced to the backline along with Darragh Fanning. An all-international front row of Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss and Marty Moore should be a point of strength.
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Meanwhile, the Dragons have recalled Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau in their team to face Leinster, while Hallam Amos on the left wing is sure to be a constant threat.