RaboDirect PRO12 match preview: Leinster v Ulster
Last Updated: 30/03/13 6:01pm
Leinster make seven changes ahead of Saturday's derby against Ulster at the RDS Arena as an array of internationals return to RaboDirect PRO12 action.
Rob Kearney will start at full-back for the hosts alongside his brother Dave and Isa Nacewa in the back three.
Leinster's most capped player Gordon D'Arcy starts his 219th game for the side partnered by Brendan Macken in the midfield.
Ireland forwards Cian Healy and Mike Ross are back in the starting XV, while Richardt Staruss returns at hooker after his injury lay-off.
Jamie Heaslip is also back to captain Leinster from the back row, while his Ireland teammates Sean Cronin, Leo Cullen and Rhys Ruddock are all named on the bench.
Meanwhile, Ulster coach Mark Anscombe is also ringing the changes with six replacements to the side which lost 14-8 to Edinburgh last week, their third defeat in as many games.
Scrum-half Ruan Pienaar and flanker Chris Henry are both back in the starting line-up following spells out injured.
Nick Williams returns at number eight after his return to action in the second half at Murrayfield last weekend, while Ireland internationals Rory Best and Craig Gilroy slot back into the side following the Six Nations.
Prop John Afoa remains in New Zealand for the birth of his third child meaning Ricky Lutton makes his first Ulster as does his partner in the front row Kyle McCall.
Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jamie Heaslip (capt), 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Cian Healy
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Leo Cullen, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 John Cooney, 22 Andrew Goodman, 23 Andrew Conway
Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Stuart Olding, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Nick Williams 7 Chris Henry, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Dan Tuohy, 4 Johann Muller (capt), 3 Ricky Lutton, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Calum Black, 18 Kyle McCall, 19 Lewis Stevenson, 20 Iain Henderson, 21 Roger Wilson , 22 Paul Marshall, 23 Peter Nelson
RaboDirect PRO12 2012/13 Round 18
Ian Madigan scored all Leinster's points as they went top of the RaboDirect PRO12 by beating Glasgow Warriors 22-17.
Paul O'Connell made a try-scoring return in Munster's 22-0 RaboDirect PRO12 derby win over Connacht.
Edinburgh finally brought their 11-match losing streak to an end after edging past Ulster 14-8 at Murrayfield on Friday.