Sean O'Brien, Jonathan Sexton and Rob Kearney will all start tomorrow for Leinster. ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

First XV: Belfast set for Titanic Pro12 tussle

Ulster and Leinster have both named strong sides for tomorrow’s meeting despite their looming Heineken Cup appointments.

JOE SCHMIDT HAS called back most of his big guns for tomorrow night’s inter-provincial meeting with Ulster.

The Kiwi coach has made 13 changes from the team which ran out comfortable 54-13 winners over Edinburgh last time out.

Fergus McFadden and Dave Kearney are the players to hold their places.

However, McFadden’s selection was a late call, due to continued uncertainty over the calf injury to Eoin O’Malley.

Front-liners, Jonathan Sexton, Brian O’Driscoll and Rob Kearney all return to the back division. Brad Thorn, Cian Healy and Mike Ross will beef up the tight five and Sean O’Brien will line out at number eight as the province gears up for a taxing Heineken Cup trip to Bordeaux.

Missing out on this team, but likely to start next week against Clermont, are Jamie Heaslip, Gordon D’Arcy and Isa Nacewa.

Ulster too have named a near full-strength XV for a game which, for them, is do-or-die in terms of the Rabodirect Pro12.

Brian McLaughlin has made nine changes in the reshuffle.

Injury to scrum-half, Paul Marshall, means Ruan Pienaar will pick up from where he left off. It is the same case for Pienaar’s partner at half-back, Paddy Jackson as Ian Humphreys is one of three players dropping to the bench after starting the defeat in Connacht.

Stephen Ferris, after defying to odds to play in the quarter-final win over Munster, continues to rest up ahead of Edinburgh’s visit to the Aviva next weekend.

Ulster: Terblanche; Trimble, Cave, Wallace, Gilroy; Jackson, Pienaar: Court, Brady, Fitzpatrick, Muller (capt), Stevenson, Henry, Faloon, Wannenburg.

Replacements: Kyriacou, McAllister, Macklin, McComb, Diack, Porter, Humphreys, D’Arcy

Leinster: R Kearney; D Kearney, O’Driscoll, McFadden, Fitzgerald; Sexton, Reddan: Healy, Strauss, Ross; Cullen (capt), Thorn; McLaughlin, Ryan, O’Brien.

Replacements: Cronin, van Der Merwe, White, Toner, Jennings, Boss, Madigan, Carr.

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