D’Arcy & le Roux start for Leinster

The Leinster team to face Munster in Friday night’s Magners League game at Musgrave Park (KO: 7.30pm) has been named.

Gordon D’Arcy returns to the team after missing last weekend’s 26-19 victory over the Ospreys and he is joined in the starting line-up by Stephen Keogh, Jamie Heaslip, Malcolm O’Kelly, Bernard Jackman and Ollie le Roux.

Cillian Willis partners Felipe Contepomi at half-back with Rob Kearney and Shane Horgan, both try scorers from last weekend, named in the back three alongside Luke Fitzgerald.

South African international le Roux returns to the front row and lines up alongside Bernard Jackman and Stan Wright, with Leo Cullen continuing his second row partnership with fellow Ireland international O’Kelly.

Speaking ahead of Friday night’s Magners League clash in Musgrave Park, Leinster captain Brian O’Driscoll said that the squad are determined to put in a strong performance against Munster.

“There’s always great rivalry whenever you play one of the Irish provinces, and Friday night will be no different against Munster. It’s not just bragging rights at stake, the team who wins can go top of the league. But at this stage of the season, irrespective of Friday night’s result, I don’t think that either side will think that they’re in the driving seat.

“The support that we have received both at home and away this season has been fantastic and it has really grown over the last few years. As a player, it really stands to you. Hearing a vocal crowd drives you on and gives you a great boost and I’m sure the Leinster supporters will be in full voice again in Cork.

“Consistency is the most important factor coming into a big game like this. We have improved our away form this year, and that’s not easy in a competition as intense as the Magners League because it tends to be more difficult to win away from home.

“There are friends in both camps, but you tend to put everything to one side when you come up against each other. Even if you’re team-mates with Ireland, it makes no odds when you play in an Interpro.

“Every player wants to go out and be on a winning side and you play as hard as you can if you’re playing against Munster as you would if you were playing against the All Blacks, for example.

“You want to win each and every game you go into.

“In the past, the feeling is that Munster would have had a very good pack, and they do, but they also have some very effective backs. We know that they have great strength at half-back and out wide, but they also have two very effective midfielders. So their strengths are not just in the pack, but right across the team.

“But it’s 15 versus 15 and there’s no fear of Leinster getting ahead of ourselves. This is a massive game and we’re focused on each individual game. We will look to attack the game the same way we would any other.”

LEINSTER:

15: Rob Kearney
14: Shane Horgan
13: Brian O’Driscoll CAPTAIN
12: Gordon D’Arcy
11: Luke Fitzgerald
10: Felipe Contepomi
9: Cillian Willis

1: Ollie le Roux
2: Bernard Jackman
3: Stan Wright
4: Leo Cullen
5: Malcolm O’Kelly
6: Stephen Keogh
7: Shane Jennings
8: Jamie Heaslip

REPLACEMENTS:

16: Brian Blaney
17: Cian Healy
18: Cameron Jowitt
19: Keith Gleeson
20: Chris Keane
21: Jonathan Sexton
22: G Brown


REFEREE:

Wayne Barnes (RFU),
SUB REFEREE: Colin Stanley (IRFU),
TOUCH JUDGE: Mark Hermin (IRFU),
TMO: Brian Fitzgerald (IRFU)

 

Rugbyweek.com

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