Planet Rugby

Preview: Leinster v Ulster

29th March 2013 11:42

Share:

Rob Kearney injury story

Back in blue: Rob Kearney

Rob Kearney is one of seven internationals to return to the Leinster starting line-up for Saturday's derby with Ulster at the RDS.

The Louth man joins his brother Dave and Isa Nacewa in the back three, while Dubliner Brendan Macken, on his 24th senior appearance, gets the chance to form a midfield partnership with Leinster's most capped player Gordon D'Arcy, who will line out for the 219th occasion on Saturday.

Hooker Richardt Strauss will make his 75th Leinster appearance after recovering from injury and takes his place in the front-row alongside fellow internationals Cian Healy and Mike Ross. Devin Toner, a second-half replacement last weekend, partners Quinn Roux at lock.

Jamie Heaslip, meanwhile, leads the team and features in an experienced back-row alongside Shane Jennings and Kevin McLaughlin.

Ireland trio Sean Cronin, Leo Cullen and Rhys Ruddock are named amongst the replacements.

Saturday's game will mark Leinster's 100th capped inter-provincial fixture of the professional era.

Meanwhile, Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe has made six changes to the side that lost to Edinburgh last week.

Ruan Pienaar and Chris Henry return to the side having recovered from injury. Number eight Nick Williams, who played the second-half at Murrayfield last weekend, starts his first game since suffering a knee injury in January.

Ireland internationals, Rory Best and Craig Gilroy return to the Ulster side following the Six Nations.

With John Afoa in New Zealand for the birth of his third child, there is a first Ulster start for tighthead Ricky Lutton. The 27 year-old, who was named club player of the year last term signed a development contract with the Province at the start of this season.

Robbie Diack who started at number eight against Edinburgh switches to blindside flanker for the game, while Dan Tuohy reverts to his usual position in the second-row.

Rob Herring, Lewis Stevenson and Paul Marshall drop to the bench. They are joined by back-row forwards Roger Wilson and Iain Henderson who have both recovered from injury.

Academy prop Kyle McCall, who has represented Ireland at U20 level, is in line to make his first appearance for Ulster.

Form: Leinster are the best side in the RaboDirect Pro12 on current form having won their last seven matches since Ulster beat them in Belfast in December. The Leinstermen moved to the top of the RaboDirect Pro12 table for the first time this season following their 22-17 win against the then top of the table Glasgow Warriors last weekend. Leinster's only home defeat to a fellow Irish province since 2003 in the RaboDirect Pro12 was to Munster at the RDS in September 2008. Ulster are winless in their last three Pro12 matches and have picked up just four league points along the way. The Ulstermen have lost their last three away games in the competition since beating Scarlets in Llanelli in early December. The Ulstermen have not beaten a fellow Irish province on their own soil in the Pro12 since a trip to Connacht in September 2009. Ulster's 27-19 victory over Leinster in Belfast in round 11 ended a run of seven straight defeats to the Leinstermen in all competitions, however Ulster have not beaten Leinster in Dublin since August 1999, in the Interprovincial Championship at Donnybrook.

The teams:

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jamie Heaslip (c), 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Leo Cullen, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 John Cooney, 22 Andrew Goodman, 23 Andrew Conway.

Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Stuart Olding, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Nick Williams 7 Chris Henry, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller (c), 3 Ricky Lutton, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Calum Black, 18 Kyle McCall, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 Iain Henderson, 21 Roger Wilson , 22 Paul Marshall, 23 Peter Nelson.

Date: Saturday, 30 March
Venue: Royal Dublin Society
Kick-off: 18:15
Referee: George Clancy (IRFU)
Assistant referees: Leo Colgan, David Connolly (both IRFU)
TMO: Jude Quinn (IRFU)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821