Leinster v Munster - RaboDirect PRO12 match preview

Last Updated: 05/10/12 3:34pm

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Leinster are boosted by the return of Brian O'Driscoll for their RaboDirect PRO12 derby with Munster at Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

The talismanic centre is joined in midfield by Fergus McFadden, with the returning Eoin Reddan - who is set to make his 67th Leinster appearance - partnering his Ireland colleague Jonathan Sexton at half-back.

Jamie Heaslip leads the team on his 150th game for the side and the eight is joined in the back-row by Shane Jennings and Kevin McLaughlin.

With Cian Healy unavailable this weekend due to a bicep strain, South African Heinke van der Merwe continues in the front row alongside Richardt Strauss and Mike Ross who is in line to make his 70th Leinster appearance.

Meanwhile, Munster coach Rob Penney has made six changes from the side that started against Ospreys. All those changes come up front, three involve players who were on the bench last weekend and injury to Niall Ronan (groin) and Marcus Horan (eye) were other considerations.

The backline remains the same with skipper Doug Howlett leading the side out to win his 100th competitive Munster cap.

Ronan picked up a slight groin injury in training while Horan continues to recover from a cut under the eye that he received in a club game. That means a start for Dave Kilcoyne ahead of Wian du Preez who is named on the bench, a situation that pertained in the Scarlets game when the 23-year-old impressed before being replaced by the South African.

Donnacha Ryan and Peter O'Mahony return to the XV for the first time this term while Dave O'Callaghan is in the blindside role he operated from against Treviso, Ulster and Dragons.

Leinster: 15 Ian Madigan, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Fergus McFadden, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip (capt), 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Damian Browne, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 John Cooney, 22 Noel Reid, 23 Fionn Carr.

Munster: 15 Denis Hurley, 14 Doug Howlett (capt), 13 Keith Earls, 12 Casey Laulala, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Peter O'Mahony, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Peter Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 James Downey.

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