Big names restored for Leinster’s must-win meeting with Exeter
Brian O’Driscoll, Richardt Strauss, Sean O’Brien, Kevin McLaughlin and Eoin Reddan all make their return to Leinster’s starting XV for the crucial Heineken Cup meeting with Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park tomorrow (6pm).
Leo Cullen leads the experienced line up which sees O’Driscoll resume his centre partnership with Gordon D’Arcy.
O’Driscoll is in line to make his 82nd Heineken Cup appearance after featuring off the bench in last weekend’s bonus point victory over the Scarlets.
Eoin Reddan has been given the nod to partner Jonathan Sexton at half back over Isaac Boss who started last weekend’s win.
Rob Kearney continues in the back three alongside Luke Fitzgerald and Isa Nacewa.
Strauss is named in the starting line up after missing the last month with an ankle injury.
His inclusion sees Sean Cronin drop to the bench.
O’Brien has recovered from illness to join fellow returnee McLaughlin and Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip in the back row.
Strauss, meanwhile, is named in the front row alongside Cian Healy and Mike Ross who is set to make his 80th appearance for the province.
Leinster (v. Exeter Chiefs): R Kearney; I Nacewa, B O’Driscoll, G D’Arcy, L Fitzgerald; J Sexton, E Reddan; C Healy, R Strauss, M Ross; L Cullen (capt), D Toner; K McLaughlin, S O’Brien, J Heaslip.
Replacements: S Cronin, H van der Merwe, M Bent, R Ruddock, S Jennings, I Boss, I Madigan, F McFadden.