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PRO12 teams: Leinster v Ulster

Updated: Friday, 27 Dec 2013 12:57 | Comments

Sean O'Brien will make his second PRO12 start of the season for Leinster this Saturday
Sean O'Brien will make his second PRO12 start of the season for Leinster this Saturday

Leinster coach Matt O'Connor has retained nine of last week's starting 15 for the visit of Ulster to the RDS in the RaboDirect PRO12 tomorrow evening, kick-off 1845.

Back in from their pre-Christmas training camp with the Irish squad come Dave Kearney, Mike McCarthy and Sean O'Brien, while Jimmy Gopperth replaces Ian Madigan at outhalf.

Brendan Macken is promoted from the bench to take his place in the centre beside Noel Reid who retains his place at 12, while Rhys Ruddock replaces Kevin McLaughlin.

Zane Kirchner continues at fullback, with Luke Fitzgerald and Isaac Boss are also retained at 11 and 9 respectively.

There are no changes in the front row with Michael Bent, Aaron Dundon and Martin Moore once again selected. Leo Cullen captains the side from the second row with Mike McCarthy partnering him.

Finally, Jordi Murphy is again named at 8 with Rhys Ruddock and Sean O'Brien completing the back row.

O'Brien makes a welcome return from injury and comes in for only his second RaboDirect PRO12 appearance of the season.   

Leinster team to play Ulster: 15 Zane Kichner 14 Dave Kearney 13 Brendan Macken 12 Noel Reid 11 Luke Fitzgerald 10 Jimmy Gopperth 9 Isaac Boss 1 Michael Bent 2 Aaron Dundon 3 Martin Moore 4 Leo Cullen (captain) 5 Mike McCarthy 6 Rhys Ruddock 7 Sean O'Brien 8 Jordi Murphy

Replacements: 16 James Tracy 17 Mike Ross 18 Jack O'Connell 19 Tom Denton 20 Dominic Ryan 21 Luke McGrath 22 Ian Madigan 23 Darragh Fanning

Robbie Diack will captain Ulster on Saturday

Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe has made nine personnel changes and three positional switches to the team that beat Zebre at Ravenhill last weekend for tomorrow evening's inter-provincial match against Leinster.

Six of the seven starting backs are Ireland internationals, with Paul Marshall partnering Paddy Jackson in the halfbacks, Luke Marshall and Darren Cave starting in midfield, and Andrew Trimble and Craig Gilroy selected on the wings.

Ricky Andrew, who played against Zebre at Ravenhill, keeps his place at fullback.

Callum Black makes his 50th appearance for the province and starts at loosehead, with Rob Herring coming in at hooker and Declan Fitzpatrick selected at tighthead.

Lewis Stevenson wears the number 4 jersey, with Dan Tuohy returning to the second row alongside him.

Robbie Diack is named as captain for the game and moves to blindside, with Sean Doyle continuing at openside and Roger Wilson, who has recovered from injury, coming back in at number 8.

Tom Court, Ruan Pienaar and Jared Payne are named as substitutes alongside Niall Annett, Ricky Lutton, Neil McComb, Mike McComish and Michael Allen.

Ulster team to face Leinster: 15 Ricky Andrew 14 Andrew Trimble 13 Darren Cave 12 Luke Marshall 11 Craig Gilroy 10 Paddy Jackson 9 Paul Marshall 1 Callum Black 2 Rob Herring 3 Declan Fitzpatrick 4 Lewis Stevenson 5 Dan Tuohy 6 Robbie Diack (captain) 7 Sean Doyle 8 Roger Wilson.

Replacements: 16 Niall Annett 17 Tom Court 18 Ricky Lutton 19 Neil McComb 20 Mike McComish 21 Ruan Pienaar 22 Jared Payne 23 Michael Allen.

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