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Team news: Leinster trust in youth as Ulster stick to proven formula

Both sides come into the came off defeat in the Heineken Cup.

Sean O'Brien with centre Brendan Macken.
Sean O'Brien with centre Brendan Macken.
Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

LEINSTER COACH JOE Schmidt has refreshed his back-line as he looks to bounce back from the double disappointment of losing to Clermont against Ulster tomorrow.

Noel Reid, Andrew Conway and Brendan Macken all come into a side which shows eight changes from the defeat at the Aviva Stadium.

Among the seven men retained, Sean O’Brien, Gordon D’Arcy and Ian Madigan have all been switched back to their preferred positions.

Michael Bent will make his second start for the province since moving from New Zealand, acting as the cornerstone of a strong pack containing, Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Leo Cullen and Kevin McLaughlin.

The bench is also a blend of youth and experience as Heinke van der Merwe, Andrew Goodman and Isaac Boss will sit alongside Rhys Ruddock and academy back Adam Byrne who impressed with two tries in his last outing for Leinster ‘A’.

The home side have opted to retain the majority of their Heineken Cup line-up as they look to continue their 100 percent start to the Pro12 season. Of the four changes to the Ulster team captained by Chris Henry, two are enforced by injury to Tommy Bowe and Dan Tuohy. Craig Gilroy and Neil McComb will fill the vacancies.

The other changes see Luke Marshall preferred to Paddy Wallace at inside centre and Robbie Diack chosen on the blindside as Roger Wilson drops to the bench with Nick Williams shuffled back to number eight.

Ulster: J Payne; A Trimble, D Cave, L Marshall, C Gilroy; P Jackson, R Pienaar: T Court, R Best, J Afoa, I Henderson, N McComb, R Diack, C Henry (capt), N Williams.

Replacements: R Herring, C Black, A Macklin, A O’Connor, R Wilson, P Marshall, P Wallace, A D’Arcy.

Leinster: N Reid; A Conway, B Macken, G D’Arcy, F McFadden; I Madigan, E Reddan: C Healy, S Cronin, M Bent; L Cullen (capt), D Toner; K McLaughlin, S O’Brien, J Heaslip.

Replacements: A Dundon, H van der Merwe, J Hagan, T Denton, R Ruddock, I Boss, A Goodman, A Byrne.

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Sean Farrell

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