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Pro12 teams: Leinster and Connacht
30 Oct 2014 14:02
Matt O'Connor has made eight changes to the side who faced Castres for Leinster's Pro12 clash against Edinburgh tomorrow (kick-off 7.35pm), with Rugby League import Ben Te'o making his debut.
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Kevin McLaughlin returns after a knee injury to captain the side form the back row. McLaughlin last featured in early September in the round two win over Scarlets in the RDS.
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Michael Bent once again starts in the front row, but swaps sides to loose head while Tadhg Furlong is selected at tight head.
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Richardt Strauss starts at hooker as he closes is on 100 caps for Leinster. Tom Denton makes his first start of the year in the second row with Kane Douglas retained beside him. McLaughlin skippers the side from blindside flanker, with Dominic Ryan once again selected at openside. Jack Conan starts from No 8 for his fifth appearance of the season. There are three changes in the backs but both wingers, Darragh Fanning on the right and Luke Fitzgerald on the left, are once again selected as is full back Zane Kirchner. However it's a new centre partnership with Noel Reid selected at inside-centre and Te'o selected outside him. Te'o makes his senior debutm after playing all 80 minutes last weekend for the Leinster A team in the British & Irish Cup against Carmarthen Quins. The final change is in the half backs with Luke McGrath selected at scrum half with Jimmy Gopperth outside him at 10.
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The game has come too soon for Jordi Murphy, Dave Kearney and Fergus McFadden despite the fact that they all trained this week.
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Shane Jennings is a little bit further away from fitness but is also aiming for a return against Treviso later in November.
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Edinburgh have made 10 changes, with 20 of their squad unavailable through injury.
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Leinster team: Zane Kirchner, Darragh Fanning, Ben Te'o, Noel Reid, Luke Fitzgerald, Jimmy Gopperth, Luke McGrath; Michael Bent, Richardt Strauss, Tadhg Furlong, Tom Denton, Kane Douglas, Kevin McLaughlin, Dominic Ryan, Jack Conan.
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Connacht coach Pat Lam has made nine switches to his starting lineup ahead of the tomorrow night's game away to Ospreys (kick-off 7.35pm).
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New recruit Bundee Aki will make his first appearance in a Connacht jersey at Liberty Stadium, starting in a midfield partnership with Craig Ronaldson. Ireland squad trio Kieran Marmion, Rodney Ah You and Darragh Leader have all been temporarily released from the international training camp to play a part in tomorrow's league game with Marmion and Ah You included in the starting XV.
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Wing Matt Healy and outhalf Jack Carty are both recalled to the backline while 22-year-old Shane Layden is given the nod at full-back for his second start of the season.
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Celebrating his 24th birthday today, lock Quinn Roux returns to the pack, while the Galway-born duo of John Muldoon (captain) and Eoin McKeon are named in the back row.
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The most notable inclusion on the bench is Mayo-born prop Jamie Dever who is in line to make his senior Connacht debut.
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The 21-year-old re-joined the Connacht Academy this season following a year-long sabbatical that allowed him to recover from a lengthy foot injury.
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JP Cooney is also likely to make his first appearance of the season against the league leaders.
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Connacht team: Shane Layden, Niyi Adeolokun, Bundee Aki, Craig Ronaldson, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Jason Harris-Wright, Rodney Ah You, Mick Kearney, Quinn Roux, John Muldoon, Eoin McKeon, George Naoupu.
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