Rugby player rotation is as synonymous with the festive period as unkept resolutions and cold turkey sandwiches, Leinster and Connacht kept the tradition alive ahead of Saturday's PRO 14 clash at the RDS.
Will Connors is the only player retained by Leo Cullen from the win over Munster at Thomond Park last week. The Kildare native again put in a dominant tackling performance with no missed tackles from his total of 23.
Your 23-man #LeinsterRugby squad to take on Connacht tomorrow at the RDS Arena! ✊🔵🗣#LEIvCON #JoinTheRoar pic.twitter.com/qkWtmJnBcG
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) January 3, 2020
Ciaran Frawley starts at out-half for the first time in this season's InterPro series, he will be alongside Luke McGrath while Harry Byrne is on the bench.
Joe Tomane makes his return from injury to start alongside Garry Ringrose in the centre, with Jordan Larmour at full-back. Fergus McFadden and Dave Kearney are the wingers.
Peter Dooley and Tadhg Furlong are either side of Sean Cronin in the front row with Ross Molony and James Ryan at lock.
Rhys Ruddock captains the side from the back row alongside Max Deegan at number-eight and the retained Will Connors on the other flank.
Andy Friend has made ten changes to his injury-ravaged team from the side that were beaten by Ulster.
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT | Here is your matchday squad to face Leinster in the RDS tomorrow.
Its a first start for 20 year old Roscommon man Niall Murray and Caolin Blade continues as captain
Read all about it👇https://t.co/4yMYibWgc3#GrassrootstoGreenShirts pic.twitter.com/qSmNPgy6SG
— Connacht Rugby (@connachtrugby) January 3, 2020
20-year-old Roscommon man Niall Murray will have his first start for Connacht at the RDS against Leinster tomorrow in the Pro 14 at 5.30
Gavin Thornbury has returned from injury to partner Murray in the second row, two of the six changes in the pack from the team beaten by Ulster.
Caolin Blade continues as captain, again partnering Conor Fitzgerald in the half-backs, with Tom Daly the only other name retained in the backline.
|15. Jordan Larmour||15. Stephen Fitzgerald|
|14. Fergus McFadden||14. Niyi Adeolokun|
|13. Garry Ringrose||13. Kyle Godwin|
|12. Joe Tomane||12. Tom Daly|
|11. Dave Kearney||11. John Porch|
|10. Ciarán Frawley||10. Conor Fitzgerald|
|9. Luke McGrath||9. Caolin Blade (Capt)|
|1. Peter Dooley||1. Denis Buckley|
|2. Seán Cronin||2. Shane Delahunt|
|3. Tadhg Furlong||3.Dominic Robertson-McCoy|
|4. Ross Molony||4. Niall Murray|
|5. James Ryan||5. Gavin Thornbury|
|6. Rhys Ruddock (Capt)||6. Eoghan Masterson|
|7. Will Connors||7. Paul Boyle|
|8. Max Deegan||8. Robin Copeland|
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