Preview: Leinster v Connacht

Connacht have made four changes to the side which beat Border Reivers, ahead of their Magners League derby clash with Leinster in Donnybrook on Saturday.

Gavin Duffy is named at full-back as he returns to the starting line-up for the first time since returning to Connacht from Harlequins three weeks ago.

Daniel Riordan and Gavin Williams are to form a new centre partnership in place of John Hearty and Mark McHugh who are named among the replacements and Andrew Farley returns from injury to captain Connacht for the fourth time this season, as he is named in the starting line-up in place of Michael Swift.

Form: Another Leinster victory would see them tie the record for the longest home winning run in the history of the league, currently jointly held by Ulster and the Dragons at 14 successive home wins. Leinster’s only home loss in the competition since March 2005 was when Edinburgh won 27-13 at Donnybrook on 6 November 2005. Connacht ended a seven game losing sequence in the Magners League with their 20-17 victory over Border Reivers on 2 March. Connacht have not won away from home since the opening day of the season when they visited Netherdale and won 29-15. Leinster have won their last five encounters with Connacht since Connacht triumphed 35-24 at the Sportsground in March 2004. Connacht’s only win in Dublin since 1985 was in September 2002 with a 26-23 victory at Donnybrook.

Leinster: tbc

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy, 14 Darren Yapp, 13 Daniel Riordan, 12 Gavin Williams, 11 Conor McPhillips, 10 Paul Warwick, 9 Chris Keane, 8 Colm Rigney, 7 Ray Ofisa, 6 John Muldoon, 5 Andrew Farley (c), 4 David Gannon, 3 Stephen Knoop, 2 Adrian Flavin, 1 Brett Wilkinson,
Replacements: 16 John Fogarty, 17 Ray Hogan, 18 Michael Swift, 19 Matt Lacey, 20 Mark McHugh, 21 John Hearty, 22 David Slemen

Date: Saturday, March 24
Venue: Donnybrook
Kick-off: 17:15 GMT
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Touch Judges: Ger English (Ireland), Sean Flannery (Ireland)
Assessor: Brian Stirling (Ireland)


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