Caelan Doris is finally poised to make his return to rugby after being named in the Leinster XV that will face Ulster in the Rainbow Cup at the RDS tomorrow evening.
The highly-rated back row has not played since being withdrawn from the Ireland squad prior to the Six Nations because of concussion symptoms. A planned return against Munster last month was nixed at short notice because of a calf concern.
Doris will start at No.8 against Dan McFarland’s side and in a back row also featuring Josh van der Flier and Josh Murphy. The entire pack is exceptionally strong with Cian Healy, Sean Cronin and Tadhg Furlong in the front row and Ryan Baird and James Ryan in the middle.
Luke McGrath captains the side from scrum-half while Ross Byrne is at ten in the ongoing absence of Johnny Sexton. Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose form the midfield and the returning Jimmy O’Brien will be flanked by Jordan Larmour and Dave Kearney.
The visitors have made no less than a dozen changes from the side that lost so badly to Munster in Limerick last weekend.
Jacob Stockdale retains his place at full-back and is joined by Craig Gilroy on the left wing and Robert Baloucoune on the right. James Hume comes in to form a midfield pairing with Stuart McCloskey, while Billy Burns and David Shanahan assume the half-back seats.
Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring and Marty Moore come into the starting front row, Sam Carter joins captain Iain Henderson in the second row, Matty Rea is named at blindside, with Sean Reidy given the nod at openside. Nick Timoney is at No.8.