Leinster replace Jamie Heaslip as captain - BOD tweets approval of new leader

Leinster announced today that Isa Nacewa is to take over the role of club captain on a permanent basis, having taken led the team on an interim basis during the Rugby World Cup.

Previous captain Jamie Heaslip and returning star Johnny Sexton have both been named as vice-captains.

The decision has come as a surprise to many who expected Heaslip to take over the captaincy once he returned from the World Cup, but the new leader has already been given the seal of approval from Leinster legend Brian O’Driscoll.

Head coach Leo Cullen made the announcement as he named his team for Sunday’s trip to face Benetton Treviso in the PRO12.

Cullen made a total of nine changes to the starting XV, with many Irish internationals making their first appearances since returning from the World Cup.

Captain Nacewa is named at fullback, with Fergus McFadden retaining his place on the right wing while Dave Kearney starts on the left. Ben Te'o and Luke Fitzgerald start in the centre together for the first time this season.

Sexton comes into to the side at 10 to make his first appearance since his return during from Racing Metro, with Eoin Reddan alongside him in the half backs.

Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin and Tadhg Furlong all start in a completely new front row. In the second row Hayden Triggs makes his debut alongside Mike McCarthy.

Jack Conan is named at number eight, and joined In the back row by Rhys Ruddock at blindside flanker and Jordi Murphy at openside.

Leinster: 15. Isa Nacewa - capt, 14. Fergus McFadden, 13. Ben Te'o, 12. Luke Fitzgerald , 11. Dave Kearney , 10. Johnny Sexton, 9. Eoin Reddan; 1. Jack McGrath, 2. Sean Cronin, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 4. Hayden Triggs, 5. Mike McCarthy, 6. Rhys Ruddock, 7. Jordi Murphy, 8. Jack Conan.

Replacements: 16. Richardt Strauss, 17. Cian Healy, 18. Marty Moore, 19. Devin Toner, 20. Josh van der Flier, 21. Luke McGrath, 22. Cathal Marsh, 23. Noel Reid.

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