RaboDirect PRO12: Leinster v Ospreys preview
Last Updated: 03/05/13 7:01pm
Leinster have made several changes to the line-up which started last weekend's Challenge Cup semi-final win to face the Ospreys in the RaboDirect PRO12 on Friday night.
The most notable change sees Isaac Boss partner Jonathan Sexton, who is now just 28 points shy of the 1,000 point career mark for the Irish province.
Andrew Conway comes into the outside backs meaning that Fergus McFadden will partner Ian Madigan at centre. Brian O'Driscoll is given a 'breather' being named on the bench after his exertions in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, Jamie Heaslip, Kevin McLaughlin and Mike Ross are rested after picking up knocks last weekend. Gordon D'Arcy has made good progress after his calf strain and should come back into calculations for next weekend's semi-final.
In all there are 13 home-grown players in the starting side which will be led once more by Leo Cullen. Fresh from his British and Irish Lions selection, Sean O'Brien has recovered from injury and the Tullow man starts at number eight in a back-row which includes Shane Jennings and Rhys Ruddock.
Jack McGrath will make his 35th senior appearance and he is joined in the front row by Ireland hooker Sean Cronin and Jamie Hagan.
Meanwhile, Alun Wyn Jones captains the Ospreys for their trip to Dublin after being selected for the British and Irish Lions earlier this week.
The fifth-placed Ospreys must beat Leinster and hope Treviso can pull off a shock victory over Scarlets in order to progress to the semi-finals.
Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Fergus McFadden, 12 Ian Madigan, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Sean O'Brien, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Leo Cullen, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Dominic Ryan, 21 John Cooney, 22 Andrew Goodman, 23 Brian O'Driscoll.
Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Tom Habberfield, 13 Ashley Beck, 12 Ben John, 11 Ross Jones, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Justin Tipuric, 5 James King, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Dmitri Arhip, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Cai Griffiths, 19 Ian Evans, 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Matthew Morgan, 22 Tom Isaacs, 23 Jonathan Spratt.
What they said...
Ospreys boss Steve Tandy
"We know that we're up against it if we are going to reach the play-offs but we definitely won't be throwing the towel in."