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For the second year in a row, the Guinness Pro14 final will be an all-Irish decider.

While a dominant Leinster are very used to this stage of the competition as they make a final appearance for the fourth season in a row, for Munster it's been a four-year wait to get back to the showpiece and a decade since they won it by beating their blue-clad inter-pro rivals.

For the likes of Conor Murray and Peter O'Mahony who were up-and-coming players in that 2010-11 campaign - Murray did start that final in a half-back partnership with Ronan O'Gara - the hunger to get over the line and secure a trophy as leaders of a generation will burn strongly, while there is a poignancy to this season with Billy Holland and CJ Stander's impending retirements after the upcoming Rainbow Cup bringing an added sense of urgency. 

Conor Murray and Peter OMahony will be desperate for a trophy 

Even without factoring in the rivalry with Leinster, the desire to overturn the head-to-head results in Munster's favour will motivate Johann van Graan's squad.

Leinster got the better of them in a narrow three-point win in January at Thomond Park and last season's two domestic defeats were again bonus-point losses for Munster. They get close but just not close enough.

As Donal Lenihan said in his preview that if Leinster win on Saturday, "It will be the first time in history they have beaten Munster six times in a row. There is a lot at stake for Munster in this one." 


For much of the last 18 months or so since the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Joey Carbery has had his face pressed up to the glass watching as provincial and international team-mates take to the field while he recovers from injuries.

Always the focus since making the switch from Leinster to Munster in the summer of 2018, the 22-time Ireland cap has recently made his return, showing flashes of his best in recent weeks as he builds valuable match fitness after so long on the sidelines.

Joey Carbery has been able to get valuable minutes after a long lay-off

Saturday can help serve as a further marker of his talent, although he will not be facing Johnny Sexton from the start after the teams were revealed on Friday afternoon.


As mentioned, Sexton will not be starting, with the Ireland captain primed to be sprung from the Leinster bench. 

Ross Byrne instead takes the starting out-half berth, in a partnership with scrum-half Luke McGrath who was not involved in the Six Nations and will have a point to prove.

Robbie Henshaw has been enjoying consistent good form of late

Robbie Henshaw, who was arguably Ireland's best player during the tournament, is not rested so will be aiming to maintain the momentum generated during these spring months, while Hugo Keenan and Cian Healy are in similar boats.

Munster, meanwhile, have wheeled out the big guns given what is at stake. Keith Earls, Conor Murray, Tadhg Beirne and Peter O'Mahony all start, as does World Cup winner Damian de Allende, while the France-bound JJ Hanrahan will provide cover for the twinkle-toed Carbery.

Leinster: Hugo Keenan; Jordan Larmour, Rory O'Loughlin, Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney; Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, Rónan Kelleher, Andrew Porter; Devin Toner, Scott Fardy; Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan

Replacements: James Tracy, Ed Byrne, Tadhg Furlong, Ross Molony, Ryan Baird, Jamison Gibson-Park, Johnny Sexton,  James Lowe.

Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Gavin Coombes, Peter O'Mahony (C), CJ Stander.

Replacements: Kevin O'Byrne, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Jack O’Donoghue, Craig Casey, JJ Hanrahan, Rory Scannell.