Leo Cullen makes wholesale Leinster changes for Munster clash

The teams meet in Limerick on St. Stephen's Day

BY Newstalk 13:03 Friday 23 December 2016, 13:03 23 Dec 2016

Head coach Leo Cullen Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Leo Cullen has made 10 changes for Leinster's St. Stephen's Day game in the Guinness PRO12 against Munster at Thomond Park.

Cullen retains four of the backs that faced Northampton Saints in the Champions Cup last Saturday but captain Isa Nacewa swaps wings in the only positional change.

As a result, UCD's Barry Daly comes into the side on the left wing with Nacewa operating on the right. South African international Zane Kirchner will start at full back for his 76th Leinster cap.

Robbie Henshaw continues in the centre but is partnered this week by Rory O'Loughlin. O'Loughlin, who wins his tenth cap for Leinster, scored a try in both home and away games against Northampton Saints.

Ross Byrne again starts in the number ten jersey but is joined from the start this week by Maori All Black Jamison Gibson-Park.

Cian Healy, James Tracy and Tadhg Furlong form an Irish international front row. Furlong is the only forward retained from last week's starting XV.

Ross Molony and Mike McCarthy start in the second row, while in the back row Rhys Ruddock, Dan Leavy and Jack Conan complete the pack.

Both teams are at the top of the PRO12 table after ten games, having won eight games each. They lie on 37 points, one clear of the Opsreys. With the Welsh side not playing until December 27th, Munster or Leinster can extend their lead at the top of the table with a win.

Leinster team and replacements to face Munster:

(15-9): Zane Kirchner, Isa Nacewa (capt), Robbie Henshaw, Barry Daly, Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park.

(1-9): Cian Healy, James Tracy, Tadhg Furlong, Ross Molony, Mike McCarthy, Rhys Ruddock, Dan Leavy, Jack Conan.

Replacements (16-23): Richardt Strauss, Peter Dooley, Michael Bent, Ian Nagle, Dominic Ryan, Charlie Rock, Noel Reid, Tom Daly.


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