Leinster ring the changes for St Stephen’s day trip to Thomond

Leinster ring the changes for St Stephen’s day trip to Thomond

Second-placed Leinster make 10 changes for the trip to Thomond Park to face table-toppers Munster on St Stephen’s Day.

Among them Cian Healy returns to the front row while Jamison Gibson Park starts at scrum half.

Head coach Leo Cullen retains four of the backs that faced Northampton Saints in the Champions Cup last Saturday but captain Isa Nacewa swaps wings in the only positional change.

As a result Barry Daly comes into the side on the left wing with Nacewa operating on the right. South African international Zane Kirchner will start at fullback for his 76th Leinster cap.

Robbie Henshaw continues in the centre but is partnered this week by Rory O’Loughlin.

O’Loughlin, who wins his tenth cap for Leinster, scored a try in both home and away games against Northampton Saints.

Ross Byrne again starts in the number ten jersey but is joined from the start this week by Maori All Black Gibson-Park.

Healy, James Tracy and Tadhg Furlong form an Irish international front row. Furlong is the only forward retained from last week’s starting XV.

Ross Molony and Mike McCarthy start in the second row, while in the back row Rhys Ruddock, Dan Leavy and Jack Conan complete the pack.

Leinster team: 15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Isa Nacewa - capt., 13. Rory O’Loughlin, 12. Robbie Henshaw, 11. Barry Daly, 10. Ross Byrne, 9. Jamison Gibson-Park; 1. Cian Healy, 2. James Tracy, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 4. Ross Molony, 5. Mike McCarthy, 6. Rhys Ruddock, 7. Dan Leavy, 8. Jack Conan.

Replacements:16. Richardt Strauss, 17. Peter Dooley, 18. Michael Bent, 19. Ian Nagle, 20. Dominic Ryan, 21. Charlie Rock, 22. Noel Reid, 23. Tom Daly.

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