Preview: PRO14 semi-final, Leinster v Munster

Date published: May 18 2018

The second PRO14 semi-final takes place at the RDS in Dublin on Saturday as Irish rivals Leinster and Munster face off for a place in the final.

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has recalled a number of players into the starting XV and the matchday squad for the game but eight in total retain their jersey from the Champions Cup Final with a further two positional changes, one in the backs and one in the forwards.

Joey Carbery will start at full-back in the sold out game with Jordan Larmour and James Lowe on either wing.

In the centre Leinster will be captained for the last time at the RDS Arena by Isa Nacewa and he will be partnered by Garry Ringrose.

At half-back, Luke McGrath will start at scrum-half with Ross Byrne at 10.

In the pack Jack McGrath comes in to start and is joined by Seán Cronin and Tadhg Furlong while it’s as you were in the second-row with Devin Toner once again partnering James Ryan.

Finally, Rhys Ruddock and Jack Conan come in to start with Jordi Murphy moving to the openside from number eight in what will also be his last game in the RDS Arena.

There is one change to the Munster starting XV that defeated Edinburgh in the semi-final qualifier at Thomond Park two weeks ago as John Ryan comes into the side at tighthead prop.

Hooker Rhys Marshall, a try-scorer in the Edinburgh win, is set to make his 50th appearance for Munster in the clash.

Simon Zebo starts at full-back with Andrew Conway and Rugby Players Ireland Players’ Player of the Year Keith Earls on the wings.

Rory Scannell is partnered by Sammy Arnold in the centres with the half-back pairing of Conor Murray and JJ Hanrahan also unchanged.

Ryan joins James Cronin and Marshall in the front-row as Jean Kleyn and Billy Holland team up once again in the engine room.

Captain Peter O’Mahony, Jack O’Donoghue and CJ Stander form the back-row.

Niall Scannell returns from injury to take his place on the bench alongside fellow forwards Dave Kilcoyne, Ciaran Parker, Gerbrandt Grobler and Robin Copeland.

Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley and Darren Sweetnam are the backline replacements.

The teams:

Leinster: 15 Joey Carbery, 14 Jordan Larmour, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Isa Nacewa (c), 11 James Lowe, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Luke McGrath, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Jordi Murphy, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 James Ryan, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Seán Cronin, 1 Jack McGrath
Replacements: 16 James Tracy, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Scott Fardy, 20 Max Deegan, 21 Nick McCarthy, 22 Rory O’Loughlin, 23 Barry Daly

Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Sammy Arnold, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Keith Earls, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Jack O’Donoghue, 6 Peter O’Mahony (c), 5 Billy Holland, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 John Ryan, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 James Cronin
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Gerbrandt Grobler, 20 Robin Copeland, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Darren Sweetnam

Date: Saturday, May 19
Venue: RDS
Kick-off: 15:15 BST (14:15 GMT)
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Ben Whitehouse (Wales), Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Television match official: Neil Paterson (Scotland)


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