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Dave Kearney returns for Leinster as Lam aims to create history for Connacht

The western province have never won in the RDS, but are hoping that 14 changes will give them the best possible chance.
Dec 18th 2014, 12:16 PM 4,495 26

SECOND ROW ALY Muldowney is the only survivor from Connacht’s Challenge Cup away win in Bayonne for tomorrow’s Pro12 meeting with Leinster.

After resting his front line players in Europe, head coach Pat Lam has been able to recall the likes of Mils Muliaina, Robbie Henshaw and Kieran Marmion for the meeting of fifth v sixth in the league.

The hosts in the RDS have also rotated their squad, but in a different direction, with seven changes made after the win over Harlequins.

Dave Kearney is the stand-out incomer, returning from injury to take up his place on the left wing.

“Despite the six-day turnaround and tough 12-hour trips to and from France,” says Lam, “we were able to have a good week’s preparation due to the use of all our squad over the last three weeks.

“This was vital as we prepare for one of the biggest challenges of our season against the defending champions stacked with quality players and in a venue where we have never won.

“While there is huge interest and excitement from supporters, we know that we will have to be fully focused on executing our roles, the game plan and our team work to give us any chance of success. If we do that the Connacht way, I have no doubt that we are capable of creating history tomorrow night.”

Leinster

15. Rob Kearney
14. Zane Kirchner
13. Luke Fitzgerald
12. Noel Reid
11. Dave Kearney
10. Jimmy Gopperth
9. Isaac Boss
1. Michael Bent
2. Aaron Dundon
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Devin Toner
5. Kane Douglas
6. Kevin McLaughlin
7. Shane Jennings
8. Jamie Heaslip (Capt.)

16. Sean Cronin
17. Jack McGrath
18. Maks Van Dyk
19. Jack Conan
20. Jordi Murphy
21. Luke McGrath
22. Cathal Marsh
23. Gordon D’Arcy

Connacht

15. Mils Muliaina
14. Danie Poolman
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Bundee Aki
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Denis Buckley
2. Tom McCartney
3. Rodney Ah You
4. Quinn Roux
5. Aly Muldowney
6. John Muldoon (Capt)
7. Eoin McKeon
8. George Naoupu

Replacements:

16. Dave Heffernan
17. Ronan Loughney
18. Finlay Bealham
19. Ultan Dillane
20. Willie Faloon
21. Caolin Blade
22. Craig Ronaldson
23. Darragh Leader

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