Preview: Leinster v Ospreys

Date published: March 4 2016

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Leinster Head Coach Leo Cullen has made seven changes to his starting XV that beat Zebre last week for their meeting with Ospreys in Dublin.

Prop Cian Healy is in line to win his 150th cap for the province and with Dominic Ryan in line to win his 100th cap from the bench. 

Zane Kirchner will start at full-back for his 60th cap for the province with Fergus McFadden coming in on the right wing, while captain Isa Nacewa continues on the left. 

Ben Te'o and Garry Ringrose are once again chosen in the centre for the seventh time as a partnership.

There is a new half-back pairing with Eoin Reddan and Ian Madigan starting at nine and ten. 

There are four changes in the pack with a completely new front row of Healy, Sean Cronin and Mike Ross. Ross Molony and Mick Kearney continue in the second row while in the back row Rhys Ruddock starts at blindside with Dan Leavy and Jordi Murphy continuing from openside and number eight. 

Should he be introduced Ryan will win his 100th cap for the province having made his debut against the Newport Gwent Dragons in December 2009.

Meanwhile, Ospreys will be without outside centre JJ Engelbrecht due to injury.

Engelbrecht's absence will see Josh Matavesi move to 13, with other starting rotation James King moving from the second row to the back row. 

Tyler Ardron will get a start at lock, while Nicky Smith starts the game at loosehead. The bench has been almost completely reshuffled, with Ma’afu Fia, Adam Beard, Joe Bearman,Tom Habberfield, Jonathan Spratt and Tom Grabham providing cover.

Form: Leinster are the only side remaining in the PRO12 with a 100 percent home winning record this season. The Leinstermen's solitary defeat anywhere in the last ten rounds of PRO12 play was 13-23 at Newport Gwent Dragons on January 29. Ospreys three-game unbeaten run in the PRO12 ended in Galway on Saturday – their first away defeat in the competition since round six. Ospreys have been victorious in Ireland this season, winning 21-17 at Munster last month. Leinster's only defeat in their last eight fixtures with Ospreys in all competitions was 19-25 at Liberty Stadium in the PRO12 in April 2014, whilst the Welshmen's most recent victory at the RDS Arena came in the 2012 PRO12 final against Leinster.

The teams:

Leinster: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Ben Te'o, 11 Isa Nacewa (c), 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jordi Murphy, 7 Dan Leavy, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Mick Kearney, 4 Ross Molony, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Peter Dooley, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20 Dominic Ryan, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Cathal Marsh, 23 Noel Reid

Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Josh Matavesi, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Ben John, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Rhys Webb (c), 8 Dan Baker, 7 Olly Cracknell, 6 James King, 5 Rory Thornton, 4 Tyler Ardron, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Nicky Smith

Replacements:16 Scott Otten, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Joe Bearman, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Jonathan Spratt, 23 Tom Grabham

Date: Saturday, March 5
Venue: RDS Arena, Dublin
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Ian Davies (WRU, 43rd competition game)
Assistant Referees: Mark Patton, Richard Kerr (both IRFU)
TMO: Olly Hodges (IRFU)

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