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RaboDirect PRO12 teams: Sean O'Brien back for Leinster

Updated: Friday, 09 May 2014 13:27 | Comments

Sean O'Brien in training this week
Sean O'Brien in training this week

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Sean O'Brien starts for Leinster in the final game of the RaboDirect PRO12 regular season against Edinburgh on Saturday (6.30pm).

O’Brien has returned ahead of schedule from a shoulder injury picked up at the end of last year.

Coach Matt O'Connor has made a total of eight changes in total from the game last Friday against Ulster.

Jordi Murphy and Jamie Heaslip complete the back row, Murphy coming in for one of last week's try scorers Shane Jennings.

The other changes in the pack sees a completely new front row as Jack McGrath lines out with Richardt Strauss and Mike Ross.  
 
Leo Cullen captains the side form the second row in place of Devin Toner with Mike McCarthy beside him.
 
There are two changes to the backs with Rob Kearney making way for the returning Fergus McFadden who takes his place on the right wing, with Zane Kirchner taking over the number 15 jersey.

McFadden's return is another timely boost as there had been doubts about whether or not he could return in time for the end of season run in.
 
Dave Kearney is once again selected on the left wing, as are Gordon D'Arcy and Brian O'Driscoll in the centre.
 
The final change is a straight swap at out-half with Jimmy Gopperth coming and Ian Madigan reverting to the bench.

Leinster: Zane Kirchner, Fergus McFadden, Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy, Dave Kearney, Jimmy Gopperth, Isaac Boss, Jack McGrath, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross, Leo Cullen (capt), Mike McCarthy, Sean O'Brien, Jordi Murphy, Jamie Heaslip. 

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Martin Moore, Rhys Ruddock, Dominic Ryan, Luke McGrath, Ian Madigan, Rob Kearney.

Connacht have made four changes to their side to face Ospreys in Liberty Stadium on Saturday (6.30pm). 

Pat Lam’s side can claim a best ever league finish if they beat the Welsh side and hooker Dave Heffernan, prop Denis Buckley, flanker Andrew Brown and centre Dave McSharry all start in changes to the side beaten by the Blues last week. 

Ahead of the game, Lam said: “Playing [Ospreys] in their back yard has always been a challenge for us. We haven't won over there in ten years. No one will give us a chance but it's up to us to change the record.”

Connacht: Darragh Leader, Danie Poolman, Eoin Griffin, Dave McSharry, Matt Healy, Miah Nikora, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Ronan Loughney, Aly Muldowney, Mick Kearney, Andrew Browne, Conor Gilsenan, John Muldoon (capt). 

Replacements: Jack Dinneen, Finlay Beahlam, Rodney Ah You, Michael Swift, Eoin McKeon, Caolin Blade, Dan Parks. 

Dan Tuohy will captain Ulster for Saturday’s final regular season game against Munster at Thomond Park (6.30pm, Live on RTÉ Two).

The Ireland international second-row has captained Ulster for brief periods in matches before but this will be the first time that he has lead the province from the start of a game.

Tuohy’s inclusion is one of 12 changes that coach Mark Anscombe has made to the side that played Leinster at Ravenhill last week.

There is a completely new backline, with Craig Gilroy starting at full-back, David McIlwaine selected on the right wing and Michael Allen and Stuart McCloskey starting in the centre.

Rory Scholes is named on the left wing, with James McKinney starting at out-half and Michael Heaney picked at scrum-half.

Up front, Callum Black starts at loosehead, with Rob Herring and Andrew Warwick keeping their places in the front row.

Lewis Stevenson partners Tuohy in the second row, while Mike McComish and Sean Doyle start either side of Nick Williams in the back row.

Ulster: C Gilroy, D McIlwaine, M Allen, S McCloskey, R Scholes, J McKinney, M Heaney; (1-8); C Black, R Herring, A Warwick, L Stevenson, D Tuohy (capt), M McComish, S Doyle, N Williams. 

Replacements: K McCall, B Ross, A Macklin, N McComb, C Joyce, D Shanahan, R Andrew, P Nelson.

Munster, meanwhile, make ten changes to their line-up from the team that beat Edinburgh

In the front row Dave Kilcoyne and Damien Varley come in for James Cronin and Duncan Casey.

Dave Foley teams up with Paul O'Connell in the second row while Paddy Butler moves from 8 to 6 with Sean Dougall and no. 8 James Coughlan completing the back row.

Duncan Williams starts alongside Ian Keatley in the half backs, while the midfield sees the return of James Downey and Casey Laulala.

Simon Zebo switches back to the 11 jersey with Gerhard van den Heever on the opposite wing, and Felix Jones occupies the full-back position having sat out last week.

Munster: Felix Jones, Gerhard van den Heever, Casey Laulala, James Downey, Simon Zebo, Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Damien Varley (capt), John Ryan, Dave Foley, Paul O'Connell, Paddy Butler, Sean Dougall, James Coughlan.

Replacements: Quentin MacDonald, James Cronin, Alan Cotter, Billy Holland, Tommy O'Donnell, Conor Murray, JJ Hanrahan, Keith Earls.

Elsewhere, both Argentina v Ireland Tests (7 and 14 June) will kick off at 7.40pm Irish time, the Argentina rugby union have confirmed. 

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