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Sexton returns to the Leinster fold for Connacht clash

Johnny Sexton has been named by Leinster in their starting team for Saturday's PRO 14 game agains...

Johnny Sexton has been named by Leinster in their starting team for Saturday's PRO 14 game against Connacht.

The Ireland out-half has not been seen on the pitch since departing the Autumn Nations Cup game against Scotland in early December.

Ciaran Frawley was due to start the game as number ten but has picked up an injury so Sexton is an enviable option for the Champions to call upon.

Luke McGrath will captain the side, as that as the original intention prior to Sexton's inclusion, with Academy duo Max O’Reilly and Andrew Smith making their debuts from the start.

With speculation rife about Ulster poaching some Leinster back-row talent, Dan Leavy dons the number eight shirt with Ryan Baird moving into the back row.

While Ben O’Donnell is in line to make his Connacht debut in tomorrow’s Guinness PRO14 interpro with Leinster at the RDS Arena.

The former World Sevens Player of the Year nominee joined the province last summer but has been forced to wait for his first appearance after recovering from a serious knee injury.

The outside back is named among the replacements and there are five changes to the starting XV that lined out against Ulster last weekend, Quinn Roux will captain the side.

Leinster Squad (caps in brackets):

15. Max O’Reilly (0)
14. Andrew Smith (0)
13. Jimmy O’Brien (26)
12. Rory O’Loughlin (73)
11. Dave Kearney (156)
10. Johnny Sexton (168)
9. Luke McGrath (136) CAPTAIN
1. Peter Dooley (83)
2. James Tracy (118)
3. Michael Bent (149)
4. Ross Molony (103)
5. Devin Toner (255)
6. Ryan Baird (16)
7. Scott Penny (19)
8. Dan Leavy (70)

16. Seán Cronin (187)
17. Ed Byrne (59)
18. Tom Clarkson (4)
19. Josh Murphy (39)
20. Jack Conan (95)
21. Hugh O’Sullivan (24)
22. Liam Turner (4)
23. Will Connors (21)

Connacht Squad

15. John Porch (27)
14. Peter Sullivan (5)
13. Sammy Arnold (10)
12. Tom Daly (34)
11. Alex Wootton (9)
10. Jack Carty (147)
9. Caolin Blade (118)
1. Denis Buckley (188)
2. Shane Delahunt (86)
3. Dominic Robertson-McCoy (58)
4. Gavin Thornbury (46)
5. Quinn Roux (104) (C)
6. Eoghan Masterson (100)
7. Conor Oliver (10)
8. Sean Masterson (7)

16. Jonny Murphy (10)
17. Matthew Burke (16)
18. Conor Kenny (8)
19. Ultan Dillane (104)
20. Cian Prendergast (4)
21. Kieran Marmion (173)
22. Diarmuid Kilgallen (1)
23. Ben O’Donnell *


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Connacht Johnny Sexton Leinster Pro 14 Rugby