LEINSTER COACH MATT O’Connor has named Six Nations winners Ian Madigan and Fergus McFadden in his starting team to face Zebre in the RaboDirect Pro12 tomorrow night at the RDS [KO 7.15pm].
Eoin Reddan, Martin Moore and Jordi Murphy – who were on the bench for Ireland’s win over France last weekend – have also been named in the match day squad for Leinster.
In total, O’Connor’s starting team includes 11 players capped at senior international level, with fullback Zane Kirchner flanked by wings Luke Fitzgerald and Darragh Fanning. McFadden will wear 13, partnering Noel Reid in midfield.
Isaac Boss and Madigan made up the halfback pairing, behind a back row of Kevin McLaughlin, Dominic Ryan and Murphy. Captain Leo Cullen locks down with Mike McCarthy in the second row, with the promising Tadhg Furlong named in the front row alongside Richardt Strauss and Michael Bent.
A bench including the likes of Moore, Shane Jennings, Reddan and Brendan Macken gives league leaders Leinster the possibility of changing the game in the second half against bottom side Zebre.
Leinster (v Zebre): Zane Kirchner; Darragh Fanning, Fergus McFadden, Noel Reid, Luke Fitzgerald; Ian Madigan, Isaac Boss; Michael Bent, Richardt Strauss, Tadhg Furlong; Leo Cullen (capt.), Mike McCarthy; Kevin McLaughlin, Dominic Ryan, Jordi Murphy.
Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Jack O’Connell, Martin Moore, Tom Denton, Shane Jennings, Eoin Reddan, Jimmy Gopperth, Brendan Macken.
Zebre (v Leinster): David Odiete; Giulio Toniolatti, Giovanbattista Venditti, Kameli Ratuvou, Dion Berryman; Tommaso Iannone, Brendon Leonard; Salvatore Perugini, Tommaso D’Apice, Dave Ryan; George Biagi, Marco Bortolami (capt.); Filippo Ferrarini, Andries Van Schalkwyk, Samuela Vunisa.
Replacements: Davide Giazzon, Andrea De Marchi, Dario Chistolini, Michael Van Vuren, Guglielmo Palazzani, Alberto Chillon, Emiliano Caffini, Filippo Cristiano.