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Dublin: 10 °C Monday 19 February, 2018

O’Driscoll starts for Leinster but O’Brien and Madigan named subs

Matt O’Connor has placed Zane Kirchner on the left wing after Dave Kearney’s season-ending injury.

Brian O'Driscoll will feature for Leinster for the last time.
Brian O'Driscoll will feature for Leinster for the last time.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

BRIAN O’DRISCOLL AND Fergus McFadden have both been named in the Leinster team to face Glasgow Warriors in the RaboDirect Pro12 final on Saturday.

The duo, who both left the field of play in the semi-final win over Ulster [with suspected concussion], have trained fully this week and take their place in a strong Blues backline. Zane Kirchner comes in to the left wing role following Dave Kearney’s knee injury.

Jimmy Gopperth gets the nod over Ian Madigan to start in the out-half role while Isaac Boss deputises for starting scrum-half Eoin Reddan.

Up front, Mike Ross and Cian Healy packed down with Sean Cronin while Devin Toner and fit again Mike McCarthy are named in the second row. Sean O’Brien is kept in reserve as Rhys Ruddock starts and blindside, with Shane Jennings in the No.7 jersey. Captain Jamie Heaslip is, once again, at No.8.

Leinster: R Kearney; F McFadden, B O’Driscoll, G D’Arcy, Z Kirchner; J Gopperth, E Reddan; C Healy, S Cronin, M Ross; D Toner, M McCarthy; R Ruddock, S Jennings, J Heaslip (c).Replacements: A Dundon, J McGrath, M Moore, L Cullen, S O’Brien, I Boss, I Madigan, D Fanning.

Glasgow Warriors boss Gregor Townsend has stuck to his guns and dropped fullback Stuart Hogg remains out of the matchday 23. The Scotland and Lions star was disciplined internally for a falling out with Niko Matawalu while there has been talk in Scotland on a possible move during the summer.

As it stands, Townsend has given the No.15 jersey to Peter Murchie. In-form winger Tommy seymour is named on the left wing while Lions’ utility back Sean Maitland starts on the right. Other names of note in the Warriors XV are Alex Dunbar [outside centre], Chris Cusiter [scrum-half], Al Kellock [lock], Chris Fusaro [openside] and Josh Strauss [No.8].

Glasgow Warriors: P Murchie; S Maitland, A Dunbar, P Horne, T Seymour; F Russell, C Cusiter; G Reid, D Hall, J Welsh; J Gray, A Kellock (c); R Harley, C Fusaro, J Strauss.Replacements: P MacArthur, R Grant, M Low, T Swinson, L Nakarawa, N Matawalu, R Jackson, S Lamont.

What do you make of the team selections?

‘There has been genuine growth in the group’ – Leinster coach Matt O’Connor

Leinster’s tribute to Leo Cullen is absolutely littered with trophies

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