Contepomi replaces D’Arcy in Leinster team for Ospreys

The Leinster team to face the Ospreys in the Magners League at the Liberty Stadium on Friday (KO: 7.10pm) has been named.

 

Gordon D’Arcy had been declared fit and was to start at centre alongside skipper Brian O’Driscoll.

 

D’Arcy was then ruled out through injury and will be replaced by Felipe Contepomi at inside centre. Jonathan Sexton starts at out-half with Christian Warner coming on to the bench.

 

Other changes to the backline, Rob Kearney replaces the injured Girvan Dempsey at full-back with Luke Fitzgerald coming on to the left wing. Cillian Willis partners Felipe Contepomi at half-back.

In the pack, Stan Wright, Leo Cullen and Keith Gleeson remain from last weekend with Cameron Jowitt, who came on as a sub against Toulouse, forming a new back-row partnership alongside Kevin McLaughlin and Ireland international Gleeson.


Ireland ‘A’ hooker Brian Blaney also comes into the starting line-up.


Gary Brown and Jonathan Sexton come into a strong bench which includes the likes of Ireland internationals Bernard Jackman, Malcolm O’Kelly, Shane Jennings as well as scrum-half Chris Keane who returns from injury.


A decision on replacement prop will be confirmed closer to kick off.


Speaking ahead of Friday’s Magners League clash in the Liberty Stadium, Leinster and Ireland back Rob Kearney said that the squad are keen to embrace the challenge of a strong Ospreys outfit in Swansea.


“No-one is more determined than the players and the coaching staff to get our performance right on Friday. We set the highest standards for ourselves and, to be honest, the short five-day turnaround is the perfect medicine to get back on the horse and hopefully back to winning ways.


“Okay, there are bumps and bruises and we have lost a few players through injury, but everybody is looking forward to the game. That’s always the same whenever you put on the Leinster shirt. There are places up for grabs and once the warm-up begins the bumps and bruises tend to disappear and you just get on with the task in hand.


“The Ospreys have fantastic strength in depth but they will be missing a few players through international commitments. Irrespective of that, it’s no secret how difficult it is to win in Wales.


“Our form in the Magners League of late has been good and we got an excellent win away in Cardiff earlier this season, so we will take belief going into this week’s game.


“Last weekend’s defeat in Toulouse came down as much to individual errors as opposed to anything else. Our concentration wasn’t as good as it had been the previous week, but we’re all really looking forward to the challenge against an excellent Ospreys side.


“I made my Senior debut in the Liberty Stadium two years ago and what I remember from the game was that it was a huge step up at the time, physically. I took a few early blows and they scored a try from a block down kick from me, which was a huge blow. But I recovered and was pleased to get on the score sheet.


“It was the opening game of the season and the game was played in front of a big crowd, which was really exciting. It’s a fantastic stadium to play in.


“This year has been different to the last twp years in that we have a smaller, closer-nit squad. All of the players are capable of stepping up and putting in a performance, so there will be no complacency. You can’t when the squad is as competitive as ours is.


“Friday is another massive challenge for us, both mentally and physically after Sunday night’s game. As a squad we are determined to go over there, cut down on our errors and put in an improved performance. We’re relishing the opportunity to face them.”


Leinster:


15: Rob Kearney
14: Shane Horgan
13: Brian O’Driscoll (Cpt)
12: Felipe Contepomi
11: Luke Fitzgerald
10: Jon

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