Luke Fitzgerald returns to Leinster team for Pro12 semi-final

Rob Kearney misses out through injury for the Leinster game

rugby, pro12, leinster, ulster, ireland, rds

Luke Fitzgerald Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

After the Captain's Run in the RDS, Leinster Rugby Head Coach Leo Cullen announced his match day squad to take on Ulster in the sold out Pro12 Play-Off on Friday evening in the RDS.

There is only change to the starting XV from the team that played against Benetton Treviso in the Round 22 bonus try win in the RDS as Rob Kearney has failed to recover sufficiently from his ankle injury that forced his substitution in the 23rd minute of the same game.

As a result Luke Fitzgerald returns to the left wing with Isa Nacewa captaining the side from full back. With Fitzgerald starting on the left, that also means a change for Dave Kearney who now starts on the right wing.

Ben Te'o and Garry Ringrose are Cullen's centre pairing for the 12th time this season as Te'o starts for his last time in the RDS before his summer move to Worcester Warriors.

At half back Eoin Reddan and Johnny Sexton start as Sexton makes his 125th appearnace in blue. The St. Mary's man has scored 1,110 points to date and is in second place on the all time point scorers list with Felipe Contepomi on top with 1,225.

Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss and Mike Ross are once again selected to start in the front row. Strauss scored two tries last time out and Friday will be his 130th Leinster cap.

Behind them Devin Toner and Mick Kearney will start in the second row with Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy and Jamie Heaslip completing the pack.

There are a few changes on the bench with Jack Conan returning from injury for his first game since February, while Ian Madigan and Zane Kirchner are also back into the mix with Blackrock College man Madigan also playing his plast game at the RDS.

Should he be involved, Wexford man Tadhg Furlong will win his 50th cap for Leinster off the bench.

With the game sold out and with three other events on in the RDS tomorrow evening, supporters are encouraged to use public transport where possible as parking will be limited in and around the ground.

Leinster team and replacements to play Ulster:

(15-9): Isa Nacewa (capt), Dave Kearney, Garry Ringrose, Ben Te'o, Luke Fitzgerald, Johnny Sexton, Eoin Reddan.

(1-8): Jack McGrath, Richard Strauss, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Mick Kearney, Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements (16-23): Sean Cronin, Peter Dooley, Tadhg Furlong, Ross Molony, Jack Conan, Luke McGrath, Ian Madigan, Zane Kirchner.