Jonny Sexton and CJ Stander return for Leinster v Munster derby

Jonny Sexton and CJ Stander return for Leinster v Munster derby

Head coach Leo Cullen has made nine changes and two positional changes to the starting XV as Leinster welcome Munster to the Aviva Stadium.

Zane Kirchner comes in at full back, with captain Isa Nacewa moving. to the right wing, while Dave Kearney comes in on the left wing.

Ben Te'o and Garry Ringrose continue their centre partnership, but there are two new half backs in Eoin Reddan, who lines up against his former club, and Jonny Sexton who returns for his first PRO12 game since the Ospreys in January.

Jonny Sexton plays his first PRO12 game since January.
Jonny Sexton plays his first PRO12 game since January.

There are five changes in total in the pack with two of these in the front row - Jack McGrath and Sean Cronin start alongside Tadhg Furlong.

Devin Toner comes in to partner Hayden Triggs in the second row, while in the back row Rhys Ruddock is again selected but moves from number eight to blindside flanker.

Jordi Murphy comes in at openside while Jamie Heaslip completes the pack from number eight.

Munster makes five changes from the side that defeated Zebre for Saturday’s game.

The return of James Cronin and Stander are the only two changes to the pack. Cronin will start alongside Niall Scannell and Stephen Archer in the front row with captain Stander coming in to join Dave O'Callaghan and Tommy O'Donnell in the back row.

Donnacha Ryan and Billy Holland remain in situ in the second row.

Three changes across the backline see Conor Murray, Francis Saili and Andrew Conway all return to the starting XV.

Murray partners Johnny Holland in the half-backs with Saili overcoming a bang to the shoulder sustained in training last week to resume his midfield partnership with Rory Scannell.

Consequently Keith Earls makes a positional switch to the wing and joins Conway and full-back Simon Zebo in the back-three. Zebo is drawing ever closer to the 100 cap milestone for the province and will make his 99th appearance this weekend.

Leinster v Munster at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday April 2 - kick-off 5.30pm.

Leinster team: 15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Isa Nacewa - capt., 13. Garry Ringrose, 12. Ben Te'o, 11. Dave Kearney, 10. Johnny Sexton, 9. Eoin Reddan, 1. Jack McGrath, 2. Sean Cronin, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 4. Devin Toner, 5. Hayden Triggs, 6. Rhys Ruddock, 7. Jordi Murphy, 8. Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: 16. Richardt Strauss, 17. Cian Healy, 18. Mike Ross, 19. Ross Molony, 20. Josh van der Flier, 21. Luke McGrath, 22. Ian Madigan, 23. Fergus McFadden.

Munster team: Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Johnny Holland, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Donnacha Ryan, Billy Holland; Dave O'Callaghan, Tommy O'Donnell, CJ Stander - capt.

Replacements: Mike Sherry, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Robin Copeland, Jack O'Donoghue, Tomás O'Leary, Ian Keatley, Darren Sweetnam.

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