Schmidt selects strong side for Ospreys showdown

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt has named his side for Friday’s Magners League clash with the Ospreys at the RDS. (kick-of 7.35pm)

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt has named his side for Friday’s Magners League clash with the Ospreys at the RDS. (kick-of 7.35pm)

Luke Fitzgerald lines up at full back in a back three that also includes Shane Horgan and Fergus McFadden, with Brian O’Driscoll partnering Gordon D’Arcy at centre and Jonathan Sexton partnering Eoin Reddan at half-back.

Leo Cullen skippers the side and links up with Devin Toner in the second row, while Dominic Ryan joins Shane Jennings and Jamie Heaslip in the backrow.

Isaac Boss, Nathan Hines and Rhys Ruddock are named on a bench which contains a mix of youth and experience, and a decision on the final outside back replacement will be made closer to kick-off.

Meanwhile, Ospreys coach Scott Johnson has named his side for what will be a repeat of last year’s Grand Final match-up.

The Welsh region travel to Dublin without a raft of international players including Tommy Bowe, Lee Byrne, Shane Williams, Mike Philips, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Jerry Collins and Jonathan Thomas while James Hook is on the bench.

Young flanker Justin Tipuric captains the side with Ryan Jones providing plenty of guidance from number eight.

Leinster: Luke Fitzgerald; Shane Horgan, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Fergus McFadden; Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Reddan; Cian Healy, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross; Leo Cullen (C), Devin Toner; Dominic Ryan, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip

Replacements: Jason Harris-Wright, Heinke van der Merwe, Clint Newland, Nathan Hines, Rhys Ruddock, Isaac Boss, Ian Madigan, Eoin O’Malley/Isa Nacewa

Ospreys: Barry Davies; Nikki Walker, Sonny Parker, Ashley Beck, Richard Fussell; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb, Duncan Jones, Huw Bennett, Craig Mitchell; Ian Gough, Ian Evans, Tom Smith, Justin Tipuric (C), Ryan Jones

Replacements: Mefin Davies, Ryan Bevington, Cai Griffiths, James Goode, Jonathan Thomas, Jamie Nutbrown, James Hook, Gareth Owen

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