Leinster coach Leo Cullen is set to rest more of his big names for the derby with Connacht on Saturday, including centre Robbie Henshaw.
Cullen left Johnny Sexton, Luke McGrath, Cian Healy, Garry Ringrose, Sean O’Brien out of his matchday squad for Saturday’s narrow 20-18 victory over Ospreys.
The Wicklow-born tactician’s squad rotation policy is all in preparation for next week’s crucial Champions Cup semi-final encounter with Clermont.
Jack McGrath, Dan Leavy, Devin Toner, Tadhg Furlong and Jack Conan are also likely to be rested for the weekend’s clash, along with Henshaw. For Henshaw, it means he won’t return to his old stomping ground, whom he left for Leinster last season.
“This time of the season, there’s a lot of rugby played and a bit of rugby ahead of us,” scrum coach John Fogarty told the Belfast Telegraph.
“There is going to be some management, but there’s other players back who were (rested) last week.”
The inter-provincial rivals met in last year’s PRO12 final, with Connacht emerging as victors on that oocassion.
However, this season, the tables have turned somewhat, with Leinster flying high atop of the table, while Connacht are languishing in 7th position.
Reflecting on Connacht’s situation, Fogarty added: “Through the season it’s been well documented for them that they’ve lost some players.
“Aly Muldowney going, he was pivotal to what they did in attack, but I watched them play Glasgow and they attacked relentlessly.
“A lot of the great stuff that won them the league last year is still there. They still attack relentlessly. I know Stuart (Lancaster) is excited about this week, because this is a unique team to defend against.”