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Leinster and Munster name two very different sides for URC clash

By Ian Cameron
Jonathan Sexton of Leinster shakes hands with teammate Scott Penny after their side's victory in the United Rugby Championship match between Leinster and Munster at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Irish provincial heavyweights Leinster and Munster have named their teams for the Irish URC derby that will be played out in front of over 43,000 people at the Aviva Stadium this weekend.

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Both sides have suffered a spate of injuries in the lead-up. League-leading Leinster are turning out what amounts to a more or less full-strength side given what’s available to them for the traditionally heated if at times leaden match-up. Munster on the other hand are fielding a team that is a tad callow across the fifteen.

Leinster will be able to draw on the experience of Robbie Henshaw, Garry Ringrose, Johnny Sexton and Luke Grath across the backline and have named an equally weathered pack of forwards. Ireland mainstays Cian Healy, Tadhg Furlong ad James Ryan start, as do the in-form former Munster lock Jason Jenkins and livewire hooker Dan Sheehan.

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Highly rated Ireland prospect Ciarán Frawley comes in at full-back with Ireland rookie Jimmy O’Brien on the wing.

Outside of the Munster’s halfback pairing of Joey Carbery and Conor Murray, it’s all a bit green for Munster.

Try-scoring sensation Gavin Coombes and South African-born heavyweight Jean Kleyn are maybe the pick of the Munster pack, with up-and-comers Josh Hodnett and Tom Ahern also catching the eye. Jeremy Loughman will also be looking to continue a rich vein of form in the league and against his former side to boot.

In truth, the derby has been a one-sided affair in recent years, with Leinster dominating the rivalry both in Dublin and Limerick. On paper, Graham Rowntree’s Munster look very much up against it.

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LEINSTER:
15. Ciarán Frawley
14. Jimmy O’Brien
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. Jamie Osborne
10. Johnny Sexton CAPTAIN
9. Luke McGrath (
1. Cian Healy
2. Dan Sheehan
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Jason Jenkins
5. James Ryan
6. Max Deegan
7. Scott Penny
8. Caelan Doris

REPLACEMENTS:
16. John McKee
17. Andrew Porter
18. Michael Ala’alatoa
19. Ross Molony
20. Jack Conan
21. Nick McCarthy
22. Ross Byrne
23. Rob Russell

MUNSTER:
15. Jack Crowley
14. Shane Daly
13. Dan Goggin
12. Rory Scannell
11. Liam Coombes
10. Joey Carbery
9. Conor Murray
1. Jeremy Loughman
2. Diarmuid Barron
3. Keynan Knox
4. Jean Kleyn
5. Tom Ahern
6. Jack O’Donoghue (C)
7. John Hodnett
8. Gavin Coombes.

REPLACEMENTS:
16. Scott Buckley
17. Dave Kilcoyne
18. James French
19. Jack O’Sullivan
20. Ruadhan Quinn
21. Paddy Patterson
22. Ben Healy
24. Patrick Campbell.

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