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Leinster

Preview: Leinster v Connacht

28th December 2012 13:38

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Shane Jennings leinster

Captain: Shane Jennings

Shane Jennings leads a young Leinster team for the visit of Connacht with six Ireland internationals in the starting line up.

Amongst them is Fergus McFadden who starts on the right wing in a back three alongside Fionn Carr and full-back Andrew Conway.

Ian Madigan lies in third place in the league's accumulators list with 74 points in 11 PRO12 games so far and he will pair up with Isaac Boss at half back.

In the pack, Heinke van der Merwe is named in the front row alongside Aaron Dundon and Ireland prop Michael Bent, with Devin Toner partnering Ben Marshall at second row. Marshall will make his fifth appearance for the province and is one of four current Academy players or recent Academy graduates in the pack.

Meanwhile, Head Coach Eric Elwood has made four personnel changes to the starting XV as Connacht pursue a season double over the European champions after defeating them 34-6 at the Sportsground in September.

Tomorrow's line-up sees winger Matt Healy earn his first start and cap for the province. The 23-year-old joined Connacht this season and has made a notable impression with the Connacht Eagles whilst competing in the British & Irish cup.

Danie Poolman moves to the right wing and makes way for Eoin Griffin who resumes his centre partnership with Dave McSharry.

In the pack, Denis Buckley is named in the front row alongside Jason Harris-Wright and Nathan White, who captains the side tomorrow. Michael Swift, who returned from injury last week and came off the bench against Munster, will partner George Naoupu in the second row.

Form: Leinster have now slipped to three straight defeats in all competitions, something that's not happened Since May 2010. The Leinstermen are one of only two sides in the RaboDirect PRO12 with a 100% home winning record this season (the other being Ulster). Connacht lost out narrowly (12-16) at home to Munster on Saturday, and have now won just one of their last six PRO12 games: 18-3 at home to Treviso on 3 November. Connacht's only away win against a fellow Irish province in the history of this competition was way back on 13 September 2002: 26-23 against Leinster at Donnybrook. Connacht have already beaten Leinster in the RaboDirect PRO12 this season (34-6 in Galway on 28 September), but have won just once in Dublin since 1985.

Leinster: 15 Andrew Conway, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Andrew Goodman, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Issac Boss, 8 Jordi Murphy, 7 Shane Jennings (c), 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Ben Marshall, 3 Michael Bent, 2 Aaron Dundon, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Mike Ross, 19 Leo Cullen, 20 Dominic Ryan, 21 John Cooney, 22 Noel Reid, 23 Adam Byrne.

Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Johnny O'Connor, 6 Andrew Browne, 5 George Naoupu, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Nathan White (c), 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Denis Buckley.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Brett Wilkinson, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 Mick Kearney, 20 Eoghan Grace, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Matthew Jarvis, 23 Tiernan O'Halloran.

Date: Saturday, December 29
Kick-off: 19:45
Venue: Ravenhill
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Leo Colgan, Mark Patton
Television match official: Jude Quinn (Ireland)

  • Leinster Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , December 7
Harlequins vs Leinster15:15
Saturday , December 13
Leinster vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , January 17
Leinster vs CastresTBC
Saturday , January 24
Wasps vs LeinsterTBC
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Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 29
Leinster vs OspreysLeinster vs Ospreys Preview
Friday , December 19
Leinster vs Connacht19:35
Friday , December 26
Munster vs Leinster17:00
Saturday , January 3
Leinster vs Ulster14:40
Saturday , January 10
Cardiff Blues vs Leinster14:40
Wednesday, January 14
Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gonsTBC
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
  • Leinster Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Friday , October 31
Leinster 33 - 8 Edinburgh
More Guinness PRO12 results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 Leinster
Sunday , October 19
Leinster 25 - 20 Wasps
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , October 11
Zebre 3 - 20 Leinster
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  • Table
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Harlequins28
2Leinster28
3Wasps22
4Castres21