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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 27 February, 2020
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Ian Madigan back at 10 for Leinster while Ulster bench front-liners

Collie O’Shea and Noel Reid come into the Leinster midfield for the trip to Edinburgh.

LEINSTER’S MATT O’CONNOR has picked Ian Madigan at out-half for tomorrow’s Guinness Pro12 meeting with Edinburgh at Murrayfield [KO 15.00].

The Ireland international has featured at inside centre for Leinster in their biggest games of the season, with New Zealander Jimmy Gopperth having been preferred in the 10 shirt on those occasions.

Ian Madigan and Noel Reid Madigan will link up with Noel Reid and Collie O'Shea in midfield. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Madigan is named at out-half for the first time since 3 January in a backline that also includes an exciting centre partnership of Noel Reid and Colm O’Shea. The Clontarf duo have had limited game time this season and will therefore be eager to impress.

Indeed, this will be O’Shea’s first appearance of the season for Leinster and just the fifth of his career.

In the back three, Kearney brothers Rob and Dave continue alongside South African Zane Kirchner, while O’Connor has opted for a highly experienced pack for the visit to Scotland.

Of interest on the bench is Lansdowne man Cian Kelleher, who was last night named Rising Star of the Year at the Ulster Bank League Awards following a superb season. The exciting fullback will be hoping for a lengthy cameo against Edinburgh.

Leinster (v Edinburgh)

15. Rob Kearney
14. Zane Kirchner
13. Colm O’Shea
12. Noel Reid
11. Dave Kearney
10. Ian Madigan

9. Isaac Boss
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. Luke McGrath
22. Jimmy Gopperth
23. Cian Kelleher

Edinburgh

15. Jack Cuthbert
14. Dougie Fife
13. Sam Beard
12. Andries Strauss
11. Tim Visser
10. Tom Heathcote
9. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne

1. Alasdair Dickinson
2. Ross Ford (captain)
3. John Andress
4. Anton Bresler
5. Ben Toolis
6. Fraser McKenzie
7. Hamish Watson
8. Cornell du Preez

Replacements:

16. Neil Cochrane
17. Rory Sutherland
18. Simon Berghan
19. Ollie Atkins
20. James Hilterbrand
21. Nathan Fowles
22. Jade Te Rure
23. Tom Brown

 ********************

MEANWHILE, ULSTER HEAD coach Neil Doak has opted to hold back several of his recognised starting XV as he makes 12 changes to his side to face fellow Pro12 title chasers Glasgow.

Sam Arnold Ireland U20 centre Sam Arnold starts for Ulster. Source: Ian Cook/INPHO

Even a victory away to the Warriors would not guarantee a home semi-final berth. With a possible six-day turnaround between the final round of Pro12 games and the first play-off, Doak has opted to rotate for this fixture.

Youngsters Sam Arnold, Rory Scholes and Stuart McCloskey all get starts in the backline, while Ian Humphreys takes over from Paddy Jackson at out-half. The presence of Ruan Pienaar, Tommy Bowe, Jackson and Iain Henderson on the bench means Ulster will have strong back-up options.

Chris Henry captains the team from openside, with the province saying that Jared Payne, Dan Tuohy, Darren Cave, Peter Nelson, Callum Black and Wiehann Herbst missed out through injury after featuring against Munster last weekend.

Ulster (v Glasgow)

15. Louis Ludik
14. Rory Scholes
13. Sam Arnold
12. Stuart McCloskey
11. Michael Allen
10. Ian Humphreys
9. Paul Marshall

1. Andrew Warwick
2. Rob Herring
3. Ricky Lutton
4. Lewis Stevenson
5. Franco van der Merwe
6. Clive Ross
7. Chris Henry (captain)
8. Robbie Diack

Replacements:

16. Rory Best
17. Kyle McCall
18. Bronson Ross
19. Iain Henderson
20. Roger Wilson
21. Ruan Pienaar
22. Paddy Jackson
23. Tommy Bowe

Glasgow

15. Stuart Hogg
14. Tommy Seymour
13. Richie Vernon
12. Peter Horne
11. Sean Lamont
10. Finn Russell
9. Niko Matawalu

1. Ryan Grant
2. Dougie Hall
3. Rossouw de Klerk
4. Jonny Gray
5. Al Kellock (captain)
6. Josh Strauss
7. Chris Fusaro
8. Adam Ashe

Replacements:

16. Pat MacArthur
17. Gordon Reid
18. Mike Cusack
19. Leone Nakarawa
20. Ryan Wilson
21. Henry Pyrgos
22. Duncan Weir
23. Peter Murchie

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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