/ Rugby

PRO12 teams: Luke Fitzgerald fit for Leinster

Updated: Friday, 13 Sep 2013 12:16

Luke Fitzgerald has recovered from injury Andrew Trimble is likely to miss at least a month with a finger injury
Luke Fitzgerald has recovered from injury Andrew Trimble is likely to miss at least a month with a finger injury

Luke Fitzgerald has recovered from a groin strain and takes his place on the wing for Leinster’s RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Opreys on Saturday at the RDS (615pm).

With Fergus McFadden (hamstring) unavailable, Brendan Macken continues his midfield partnership with Gordon D'Arcy in an unchanged backline from the side that defeated the Scarlets away last weekend.

Up front, Shane Jennings again leads the side and the forwards are boosted by the inclusion of wing-forward Kevin McLaughlin and hooker Richardt Strauss this weekend in an all-Ireland qualified pack.

Mike McCarthy will make his home debut after appearing as a replacement in Llanelli, while there is also a first start this season for Mike Ross who also featured off the bench.

Leinster: Dave Kearney, Darragh Fanning, Brendan Macken, Gordon D'Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald, Jimmy Gopperth, Eoin Reddan; Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Mike McCarthy, Kevin McLaughlin, Shane Jennings (c), Jordi Murphy.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Jack O'Connell, Martin Moore, Tom Denton, Rhys Ruddock, Isaac Boss, Ian Madigan, Darren Hudson.

Ulster winger Andrew Trimble will be out for four to six weeks with an injured finger.

The Ireland player is due to have surgery tomorrow, Ulster have confirmed.

David McIlwaine starts instead of Trimble in one of seven personnel and two positional changes to the team that lost to Newport Gwent Dragons last week for tomorrow evening’s RaboDirect PRO12 game against Glasgow Warriors at Ravenhill (kick-off 7:05).

Darren Cave returns to the backline at outside centre, with Luke Marshall moving inside to 12.

Michael Allen is selected on the left wing, with Ian Porter picked at scrum-half in place of Paul Marshall who is named on the bench.

Declan Fitzpatrick is selected at tighthead, while in the backrow Roger Wilson moves from Number 8 to blindside, Sean Doyle is named at openside with Nick Williams starting at Number 8.

Ulster: J Payne, D McIlwaine, D Cave, L Marshall, M Allen, P Jackson, I Porter; C Black, R Herring, D Fitzpatrick, J Muller (c), D Tuohy, R Wilson, S Doyle, N Williams.

Replacements: N Annett, T Court, R Lutton, I Henderson, C Henry, P Marshall, J McKinney, R Andrew.

Gavin Duffy and Tiernan O’Halloran have been drafted into head coach Pat Lam’s starting XV for Connacht's meeting with Cardiff Blues on Friday night at Arms Park (KO 7:05pm).

The duo are the two personnel changes to the Connacht side that beat Zebre 25-16 last weekend. Duffy returns to the fray for his first competitive game of the season and is named at full-back while Robbie Henshaw moves to outside centre.

O'Halloran, who came on from the bench last Saturday, starts on the right-wing while Danie Poolman is named amongst the replacements.

The pack remains unchanged with Michael Swift captaining the side on their first away trip of the season and the first game on Cardiff's newly installed artificial pitch at Arms Park.

John Muldoon, meanwhile, reaches a milestone as he celebrates his 200th Connacht cap in the Welsh capital.

Connacht: Gavin Duffy, Tiernan O'Halloran, Robbie Henshaw, Eoin Griffin, Matt Healy, Dan Parks, Kieran Marmion, Brett Wilkinson, Jason Harris-Wright, Nathan White, Michael Swift (c), Andrew Browne, John Muldoon, Willie Faloon, George Naoupu.

Replacements: Sean Henry, Rodney Ah You, Ronan Loughney, Aly Muldowney, Jake Heenan, Paul O'Donohoe, Craig Ronaldson, Danie Poolman.

Former Leinster back Andrew Conway will make his first competitive start for Munster on Friday night against Zebre at Stadio XXV Aprile (KO 6.30pm Irish time).

Conway, who scored a try in the short time he played against Gloucester in a pre-season game, makes a return on the wing from the dead leg he sustained that day.

Donnacha Ryan will make his first appearance of the season against the Italian outfit and starts next to Ian Nagle in the second row.

James Downey, who recovered from a quad-tear picked up at training, is named among the replacements.

Damien Varley will captain the squad as he joins Dave Kilcoyne and John Ryan in the front row.

Munster: Denis Hurley; Johne Murphy, Casey Laulala, Ivan Dineen, Andrew Conway; JJ Hanrahan, Cathal Sheridan; Dave Kilcoyne, Damien Varley (c), John Ryan; Donnacha Ryan, Ian Nagle; CJ Stander, Tommy O'Donnell, Paddy Butler.

Replacements: Mike Sherry, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Dave Foley, Niall Ronan, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, James Downey.

Live television coverage of Leinster v Ospreys from 17:05 on Saturday 14 September on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie. (Ireland only).