Planet Rugby

Preview: Leinster v Ospreys

16th January 2014 08:04

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SKY_MOBILE Richardt Strauss Leinster

Back: Richardt Strauss

Fit again hooker Richardt Strauss is named on the bench for Leinster's Heineken Cup clash with the Ospreys in Dublin on Saturday.

The four times capped Irish international was diagnosed with a heart condition last October and while initially ruled out for the rest of the season, he has progressed excellently to the extent that the medical team has cleared him to play sooner than expected.

The back division sees no change from the XV that started in the hard fought away win in Castres last weekend, but up front there are four changes in personnel.

Back to the starting XV and Sean Cronin is once again selected at hooker and will win his 63rd Leinster cap against the Ospreys, while the fit again Cian Healy scrums down beside him after an impressive display off the bench against Castres. On the other side of Cronin, having been named in the extended Irish Six Nations squad earlier in the week, Martin Moore gets the nod at tighthead. Last weekend's starting props, Jack McGrath and Mike Ross, provide cover from the bench.

Should Ross feature off the bench, it will be Corkman's 100th Leinster appearance since joining in 2009/2010 from Harlequins.

Devin Toner and Mike McCarthy are retained in the second-row but there are two changes in the back-row with Kevin McLaughlin and try scorer against Castres, Jordi Murphy, making way for the fit again Rhys Ruddock and Shane Jennings. Jamie Heaslip captains the side from number eight.

Meanwhile, Alun-Wyn Jones skippers an Ospreys side whose chances of progression in the tournament are over. It is a strong pack, with Adam Jones, Ian Evans and Richard Hibbard also named in the tight five, while Justin Tipuric starts on the openside.

Promising youngster Sam Davies is at full-back, while prolific Canadian winger Jeff Hassler continues on the right wing.

The teams:

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip (c), 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Martin Moore, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Mike Ross, 19 Leo Cullen, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Zane Kirchner.

Ospreys: 15 Sam Davies, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Jonathan Spratt, 12 Ben John, 11 Aisea Natoga, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Ryan Jones, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Tyler Ardron, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun-Wyn Jones (c), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Dan Suter, 19 Lloyd Peers, 20 James King, 21 Morgan Allen, 22 Thomas Habberfield, 23 Matthew Morgan.

Date: Friday 17th January
Venue: RDS
Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Referee: Romain Poite (Fra)
Assistant referees: Cyril Lafon, Eric Soulan (both Fra)
TMO: Laurent Valin (Fra)

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