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PRO 14    

Irish rivals name semi-final teams

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PRO 14    

Leinster and Munster name their PRO14 semi-final teams

Munster have ringed their changes to their team to face Leinster on Saturday in the PRO14 semi-final, the alterations including a welcome return to action for Joey Carbery.

The former Leinster play-maker has been sidelined since getting injured in the end-of-March European quarter-final win at Edinburgh, but he has now been declared fit to take his place in a line-up showing four changes from the ugly league quarter-final win over Benetton.

Carbery, though, won’t be going head-to-head against Johnny Sexton from the start as the Ireland talisman has been held back in reserve.

Along with Carbery, Keith Earls and John Ryan and Arno Botha also come into the team as Munster attempt to draw a line under a worrying few weeks where their weak European semi-final performance to Saracens was following by the poor show versus Benetton and the revelation that assistant coaches Jerry Flannery and Felix Jones are to quit at the end of the season.

Dublin isn’t at all a happy hunting ground for Munster, either. Their last win in the Irish capital was a 2014 October derby win over Leinster and their only success previous to that came in September 2008.

That history of hurt puts into context their record of 17 wins in 22 league outings this season – they really do have to step up to the mark in front of a sold-out crowd of 18,977 if they are to eclipse a Leinster XV showing four changes to the team that started the Champions Cup final defeat to Saracens last Saturday in Newcastle.

Jordan Larmour shifts from the wing to full-back instead of Rob Kearney, with Dave Kearney coming in. Ross Byrne takes over from Sexton at out-half, while two changes to the back row see Rhys Ruddock and Josh van der Flier step up.

Leinster v Munster – Saturday, 14.30
RDS Arena, Dublin

LEINSTER: Jordan Larmour; Dave Kearney, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, Seán Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner, James Ryan, Rhys Ruddock (C), Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan. Reps: Bryan Byrne, Ed Byrne, Andrew Porter, Scott Fardy, Max Deegan, Nick McCarthy, Johnny Sexton, Rory O’Loughlin.

MUNSTER: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (C), CJ Stander, Arno Botha. Reps: Kevin O’Byrne, Liam O’Connor, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Jack O’Donoghue, Alby Mathewson, JJ Hanrahan, Dan Goggin.

Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU).

WATCH: Jim Hamilton interview Leinster’s Rob Kearney for RugbyPass following last weekend’s Champions Cup final loss to Saracens

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Leinster and Munster name their PRO14 semi-final teams