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Sexton returns to captain Leinster as Connacht make 3 changes

With his side in the middle of a hectic schedule, Leo Cullen has retained just two players from the starting XV that overcame Munster.

Jonathan Sexton is set to start for Leinster against Ulster.
Jonathan Sexton is set to start for Leinster against Ulster.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

JONATHAN SEXTON RETURNS to captain Leinster while Connacht make three changes for the sides’ clash on New Year’s Day at the RDS in the first Guinness PRO14 fixture of 2018 (Kick Off: 3.15pm – live on TG4 & RTÉ Radio).

With his side in the middle of a hectic schedule, Leo Cullen has retained just two players from the starting XV that overcame Munster on St Stephen’s Day.

The Man-of-the-match from that game, Dan Leavy, starts again, as does left winger James Lowe, though it is an otherwise much-changed Leinster team.

Connacht, meanwhile, have opted to make less alterations following last weekend’s victory over Ulster.

Hooker Tom McCartney, lock James Cannon and winger Cian Kelleher all come in for Kieran Keane’s side, with the other 12 starters retained from the previous game.

Leinster Rugby team:

15. Rob Kearney
14. Fergus McFadden
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Noel Reid
11. James Lowe
10. Johnny Sexton (Capta)
9. Luke McGrath

1. Peter Dooley
2. Seán Cronin
3. Andrew Porter
4. Ross Molony
5. Ian Nagle
6. Dan Leavy
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Max Deegan

Replacements:

16. Bryan Byrne
17. Ed Byrne
18. Michael Bent
19. Mick Kearney
20. Scott Fardy
21. Nick McCarthy
22. Cathal Marsh
23. Rory O’Loughlin

Connacht Rugby team:

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Cian Kelleher
13. Bundee Aki
12. Tom Farrell
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Denis Coulson
2. Tom McCartney
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Ultan Dillane
5. James Cannon
6. Eoghan Masterson
7. Jarrad Butler,
8. John Muldoon (Capt)

Replacements:

16. Shane Delahunt
17. Peter McCabe
18. Conor Carey
19. Quinn Roux
20. Naulia Dawai
21. Caolin Blade
22. Eoin Griffin
23. Niyi Adeolokun

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Paul Fennessy

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