Cullen benched for Connacht showdown

Shane Jennings will skipper Leinster against Connacht with head coach Joe Schmidt relegating regular captain Leo Cullen to the bench for tomorrow's RaboDirect PRO12 clash in the RDS (7.45pm).

Jennings leads a young team for the visit of 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.

There is an unfamiliar look to the blues midfield with Andrew Goodman partnering Brendan Macken in the centres.

Ian Madigan lies in third place in the league’s accumulators list with 74 points in eleven 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.

Marshall will make his fifth appearance for the province and is one of four current Academy players or recent Academy graduates in the pack.

Rhys Ruddock and Jordi Murphy complete the line up, joining Jennings in the back row. As well as Cullen, Leinster have experience on the bench in the shapes of Sean Cronin and Mike Ross.

Leinster (v. Connacht): A Conway; F McFadden, B Macken, A Goodman, F Carr; I Madigan, I Boss; H van der Merwe, A Dundon, M Bent; B Marshall, D Toner; R Ruddock, S Jennings capt, J Murphy.

Replacements: S Cronin, J McGrath, M Ross, L Cullen, D Ryan, J Cooney, N Reid, A Byrne.

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