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Leinster v Connacht - RaboDirect PRO12 match preview

Last updated: 29th December 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

 Eric Elwood Connacht

Eric Elwood: has made four personnel changes to Connacht for their trip to Dublin

Shane Jennings leinster

Shane Jennings: Captaining Leinster against Connacht

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Leinster will be hoping to gain ground on the leading pack in the RaboDirect PRO12 when lowly Connacht visit Dublin on Saturday.

Shane Jennings leads a young Leinster team against Connacht and the back-row forward is one of six Ireland internationals in the starting line-up.

Amongst them is Fergus McFadden, who starts on the right wing in a back three alongside Fionn Carr and full-back Andrew Conway.

Ian Madigan lies in third place in the league's accumulators list with 74 points in 11 PRO12 games so far and he will pair up with Isaac Boss at half back.

In the pack, Heinke van der Merwe is named in the front row alongside Aaron Dundon and Ireland prop Michael Bent, with Devin Toner partnering Ben Marshall at second row.

Head coach Eric Elwood has made four personnel changes to the starting XV as Connacht pursue a season double over the European champions after defeating them 34-6 at the Sportsground in September.

Winger Matt Healy earns his first start and cap for the province. The 23-year-old joined Connacht this season and has made a notable impression with the Connacht Eagles whilst competing in the British & Irish cup.

Danie Poolman moves to the right wing and makes way for Eoin Griffin who resumes his centre partnership with Dave McSharry.

In the pack, Denis Buckley is named in the front row alongside Jason Harris-Wright and Nathan White, who captains the side. Michael Swift, who returned from injury last week and came off the bench against Munster, will partner George Naoupu in the second row.

Leinster: 15: Andrew Conway, 14: Fergus McFadden, 13: Brendan Macken, 12: Andrew Goodman, 11: Fionn Carr, 10: Ian Madigan, 9: Isaac Boss, 1: Heinke van der Merwe, 2: Aaron Dundon, 3: Michael Bent, 4: Ben Marshall, 5: Devin Toner, 6: Rhys Ruddock, 7: Shane Jennings (c), 8: Jordi Murphy.
Replacements: 16: Sean Cronin, 17: Jack McGrath, 18: Mike Ross, 19: Leo Cullen, 20: Dominic Ryan, 21: John Cooney, 22: Noel Reid, 23: Adam Byrne.

Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 1 Denis Buckley, 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 3 Nathan White (c), 4 Michael Swift, 5 George Naoupu, 6 Andrew Browne, 7. Johnny O'Connor, 8 Eoin McKeon.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Brett Wilkinson, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 Mick Kearney, 20 Eoghan Grace, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Matthew Jarvis, 23 Tiernan O'Halloran.

What they said...

Leinster back Andrew Conway

"Connacht have built on a good win against us earlier in the year and have pushed on with big results and we know that we have to really up our performance levels on Saturday, because they're a side who can hurt you," said Conway.

"Looking at their defeat to Munster last weekend, they probably felt that it was a game which they could have, maybe should have won. So they'll be looking to come to the RDS and aiming to do a job on us.

"From our perspective it has been a frustrating last few weeks. Our performance over in Stade Marcel Michelin was pretty good but over the last two games we haven't been clinical enough and we have been disappointed with aspects of our play."

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Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - September 19 2014
Pos Team P Pts
12 Zebre 3 0
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday 20th September
Guinness PRO12
14:40Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow
18:00Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso
Sunday 21st September
16:00Ospreys vs Edinburgh
Friday 26th September
19:35Leinster vs Cardiff Blues
19:35Edinburgh vs Scarlets
19:35Glasgow vs Connacht
Saturday 27th September
15:00Zebre vs Ulster
18:30Munster vs Ospreys
Sunday 28th September
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 3rd October
19:35Ulster vs Edinburgh
19:35Zebre vs Ospreys
19:35Connacht vs Cardiff Blues
Saturday 4th October
18:30Leinster vs Munster
Sunday 5th October
15:00Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow
16:00Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Friday 10th October
19:35Munster vs Scarlets
Saturday 11th October
TBCBenetton Treviso vs Connacht
14:40Edinburgh vs Newport Gwent D'gons
16:00Zebre vs Leinster
17:05Ulster vs Glasgow
Sunday 12th October
16:00Ospreys vs Cardiff Blues
Friday 31st October
19:35Ospreys vs Connacht
19:35Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso
19:35Leinster vs Edinburgh
Saturday 1st November
TBCScarlets vs Zebre

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