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Carbery makes first start in over two months as Cullen rings changes for Edinburgh

Ireland internationals James Tracy and Josh van der Flier are also named in the starting XV.

Leinster fly-half Joey Carbery.
Leinster fly-half Joey Carbery.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

JOEY CARBERY WILL start his first match in more than two months when Leinster host Edinburgh in the Guinness Pro12 at the RDS tomorrow night [7.35pm, TG4].

The Ireland international will start at fly-half having made his return from an ankle injury as a replacement in last weekend’s 40-14 win at Treviso.

Carbery scored a try on his return against the Italian side and will be keen to impress Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt tomorrow night, the ankle injury he suffered against Northampton in a Champions Cup tie in December having ruled him out of the opening two rounds of the Six Nations.

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen makes eight changes altogether with openside flanker Josh van der Flier and hooker James Tracy to start just six days after featuring in Ireland’s Six Nations rout of the Azzurri.

Mike Ross is another who finds himself back in the starting team for the first time in a number of months, the tighthead prop having made his return from the bench against Treviso after being sidelined for three months with a hamstring problem.

Dave Kearney retains his spot in the side after he bagged a brace of tries on his return from injury last weekend, although he does shift to the right wing for tomorrow’s game due to a backline reshuffle that sees Barry Daly handed the No 11 shirt.

South African Zane Kirchner completes the back three at fullback while Rory O’Loughlin and Noel Reid continue their partnership in midfield.

Luke McGrath skippers the side from scrum-half — in the absence of Isa Nacewa who underwent a small procedure on his knee this week — as Kiwi Jamison Gibson-Park drops to the bench along with Ross Byrne, his halfback partner last week.

Van der Flier’s inclusion is the sole change to the back row where he will join Dominic Ryan and Jack Conan. Dan Leavy drops to the bench.

Ross Molony and Mike McCarthy will start in the second row as Mick Kearney drops to the bench and Ian Nagle out of the match-day 23.

Peter Dooley retains his spot at loosehead, where he will be packing down alongside Tracy and Ross.

Leinster are currently in third spot on the table after 14 games, three points behind Ospreys and four behind Munster. Edinburgh are sitting in ninth position of the 12 teams having only managed four victories so far this season, only one of which came on the road, a 24-19 win at Zebre on New Year’s Eve.

Leinster prevailed 33-20 in an entertaining contest when the sides met at Murrayfield last September.

Leinster

15. Zane Kirchner
14. Dave Kearney
13. Rory O’Loughlin
12. Noel Reid
11. Barry Daly
10. Joey Carbery
9. Luke McGrath (c)

1. Peter Dooley
2. James Tracy
3. Mike Ross
4. Ross Molony
5. Mike McCarthy
6. Dominic Ryan
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jack Conan

Replacements:

16. Bryan Byrne
17. Andrew Porter
18. Michael Bent
19. Mick Kearney
20. Dan Leavy
21. Jamison Gibson-Park
22. Ross Byrne
23. Adam Byrne

Edinburgh

15. Glenn Bryce
14. Damien Hoyland
13. Chris Dean
12. Phil Burleigh
11. Tom Brown
10. Duncan Weir
9. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne

1. Jack Cosgrove
2. Neil Cochrane (c)
3. Murray McCullum
4. Fraser McKenzie
5. Ben Toolis
6. Madnus Bradbury
7. Jamie Ritchie
8. Cornell Du Preez

Replacements:

16. George Turner
17. Derrick Appiah
18. Nick Beavon
19. Grant Gilchrist
20. Lewis Carmichael
21. Nathan Fowles
22. Jason Tovey
23. Blair Kinghorn


Source: The42 Rugby Show/SoundCloud

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Alan Waldron

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