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Five changes for Leinster as O'Connor's men look to salvage season

Ian Madigan is back at inside centre, while Ireland wing Dave Kearney returns in the back three.

LEINSTER HEAD COACH Matt O’Connor has made five changes to his starting team to face Italian outfit Treviso in the Guinness Pro12 tomorrow evening at the RDS [KO 19.35].

The eastern province sit fifth in the league with two fixtures remaining, but are now looking over their shoulders at the chasing Scarlets and Edinburgh. A finishing position in the top six would guarantee Leinster Champions Cup rugby next season.

LeinsterÕs Ian Madigan Ian Madigan has been restored to Leinster's starting XV. Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

Dave Kearney has recovered from a hip flexor problem to take Luke Fitzgerald’s place on the left wing, the latter having undergone shoulder surgery last week. Kearney forms the back three with his brother, Rob, and South African Zane Kirchner.

Ian Madigan returns at inside centre having missed out on the defeat to Ulster two weekends ago, partnering Ben Te’o in the midfield outside out-half Jimmy Gopperth.

Eoin Reddan completes the backline as Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss and Mike Ross make up the front row. Devin Toner and Mike McCarthy continue their second row partnership, while captain Jamie Heaslip is alongside Sean O’Brien and the returning Jordi Murphy in the back row.

Included on the bench is Gordon D’Arcy, who recently confirmed his retirement at the end of October, and Leinster say both the centre and Shane Jennings will be introduced to the RDS crowd before and after the game in order to allow supporters to pay their respects to two of the province’s greatest servants.

Leinster (v Treviso)

15. Rob Kearney
14. Zane Kirchner
13. Ben Te’o
12. Ian Madigan
11. Dave Kearney
10. Jimmy Gopperth
9. Eoin Reddan

1. Jack McGrath
2. Richardt Strauss
3. Mike Ross
4. Devin Toner
5. Mike McCarthy
6. Jordi Murphy
7. Sean O’Brien
8. Jamie Heaslip (captain)

Replacements:

16. Aaron Dundon
17. Michael Bent
18. Tadhg Furlong
19. Tom Denton
20. Jack Conan
21. Isaac Boss
22. Gordon D’Arcy
23. Darragh Fanning

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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