Leinster welcome back O’Kelly

MALCOLM O’KELLY is named in the Leinster side to face Connacht in the Magners League at Donnybrook this afternoon (5.15pm).

O’Kelly returns to the Leinster pack after a month-long lay-off and will partner Trevor Hogan, a second-half replacement in Ireland’s 51-24 victory over Italy last weekend. Hogan is also joined in the side by international colleagues Shane Horgan, Girvan Dempsey and Denis Hickie.

Vacancies have been left at inside centre and out-half with one from Christian Warner, Gordon D’Arcy, Felipe Contepomi and Jonathan Sexton due to drop to the bench and one other out of the panel. On the replacements bench, a decision will be made closer to kick off on the reserve prop and outside back replacements.

Connacht have made four changes to the side which beat Border Reivers. Gavin Duffy is named at full back; it’s his first time in the starting line up since returning to Connacht from Harlequins. Daniel Riordan and Gavin Williams are to form a new centre partnership in place of John Hearty and Mark McHugh who are named among the replacements and Andrew Farley returns to captain Connacht, as he is named in the starting line up in place of Michael Swift.

LEINSTER: G Dempsey S Horgan K Lewis 12 / 10: C Warner, G D’Arcy, F Contepomi, J Sexton D Hickie 10: (see 12/10), C Whitaker S Wright B Jackman W Green T Hogan M O’Kelly S Keogh K Gleeson J Heaslip.

Replacements: B Blaney R Corrigan / F Pala’amo O Finegan C Jowitt G Easterby 21: (see 12/10) L Fitzgerald / R Kearney.

CONNACHT: G Duffy; D Yapp, D Riordan, G Williams, C McPhillips; P Warwick, C Keane; B Wilkinson, A Flavin, S Knoop; D Gannon, A Farley (C); J Muldoon, R Ofisa, C Rigney.

Replacements: J Fogarty, R Hogan, M Swift, M Lacey, M McHugh, J Hearty, D Slemen.

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