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Leinster opt to omit O'Brien and front-liners for Pro12 clash with Dragons

The likes of Sean O’Brien, Ian Madigan, Cian Healy and Rob Kearney are absent.

LEINSTER HAVE OPTED to take a host of front-line players out of the firing line for Sunday’s Guinness Pro12 clash with the Dragons [KO 16.14, S4C], as their Champions Cup semi-final against Toulon looms.

Head coach Matt O’Connor this afternoon named his team to face the Dragons, with the likes of Rob Kearney, Ian Madigan, Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Devin Toner, Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip absent.

Gordon D'Arcy supported by Jack Conan D'Arcy and Jack Conan are back in the XV. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Jordi Murphy and Luke Fitzgerald, meanwhile, drop to the bench.

This clash with the Dragons remains absolutely pivotal to Leinster’s Pro12 ambitions, as they currently sit fifth in the league and outside the play-off positions.

O’Connor has called on men such as Zane Kirchner, Gordon D’Arcy and Shane Jennings to lend their experience to the occasion, while trusted out-half Jimmy Gopperth will direct their game plan.

Ben Te’o gets his latest run-out at 13, while Dave Kearney is introduced to the backline along with Darragh Fanning. An all-international front row of Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss and Marty Moore should be a point of strength.

Meanwhile, the Dragons have recalled Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau in their team to face Leinster, while Hallam Amos on the left wing is sure to be a constant threat.

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Leinster

15. Zane Kirchner
14. Dave Kearney
13. Ben Te’o
12. Gordon D’Arcy
11. Darragh Fanning
10. Jimmy Gopperth
9. Eoin Reddan

1. Jack McGrath
2. Richardt Strauss
3. Martin Moore
4. Ben Marshall
5. Mike McCarthy
6. Dominic Ryan
7. Shane Jennings (captain)
8. Jack Conan

Replacements:

16. Aaron Dundon
17. Michael Bent
18. Tadhg Furlong
19. Ross Molony
20. Jordi Murphy
21. Luke McGrath
22. Noel Reid
23. Luke Fitzgerald

Dragons

15. Jason Tovey
14. Tom Prydie
13. Tyler Morgan
12. Jack Dixon
11. Hallam Amos
10. Dorian Jones
9. Jonathan Evans

1. Phil Price
2. T. Rhys Thomas (captain)
3. Brok Harris
4. James Thomas
5. Cory Hill
6. Nick Crosswell
7. Nic Cudd
8. Taulupe Faletau

Replacements:

16. Rhys Buckley
17. Luke Garrett
18. Dan Way
19. Matthew Screech
20. James Benjamin
21. Luc Jones
22. Pat Leach
23. Geraint Rhys Jones

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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