Thursday, 27 September 2012

Connacht V Leinster team news

Eric Elwood has made a number of changes to his side as they prepare to take on the European Champions Leinster tomorrow night in the Sportsground.

Athlone's Robbie Henshaw replaces an injured Gavin Duffy in the fullback position.

19 year old Henshaw earned his first competitive start in Glasgow last week and had made a notable impact from the bench in all three previous league matches.

Both Tiernan O'Halloran and Fetu'u Vainikolo return to their starting positions on the wing while Eoin Griffin joins Dave McSharry in the centre.
Dan Parks makes a welcome return to rugby and his debut for the province tomorrow night as out half.

Up front, Brett Wilkinson makes way for Denis Buckley as loosehead prop while former Leinster prop Nathan White, who also captains the side, starts again as tighthead prop.

Michael Swift, who earns his 150th league appearance on the eve of this derby game, slots back into the second row and is joined by fellow second rower Mike McCarthy.

Eoin McKeon who started the last two weeks in the number 8 position moves to blindside flanker and joins Johnny O'Connor and George Naoupu in the back row

Ireland international Rob Kearney will make his first seasonal start – and 121st Leinster appearance - and the Louth man is named in a backline which also includes Fergus McFadden who starts on the right wing.

Gordon D’Arcy will be partnered by Brendan Macken, who scored a brace of tries last weekend, with Isa Nacewa moving to the left wing. John Cooney links up with Ian Madigan at half back.

In the pack, Shane Jennings leads the team and he is joined in the pack by Ben Marshall and Quinn Roux – with the South African lock set to make his 2nd appearance for the province.

Heinke van der Merwe comes into the front row, while the province can call on an all-Ireland international front row off the bench in ex Connacht hooker Sean Cronin, Cian Healy and Mike Ross.

KO for Connacht v Leinster is 8pm in the Sportsground tomorrow.


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