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Leinster welcome back six internationals

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PRO 14    

Six Ireland players named in Leinster 23 for Connacht

Leinster Rugby have welcomed back six Ireland players to their matchday squad to take on Connacht in the first interprovincial derby of the season at The Sportsground in Round 6 of the Guinness PRO14.

Robbie Henshaw, Luke McGrath, Cian Healy, Andrew Porter, Rhys Ruddock and Rob Kearney all return to the team three weeks after Ireland were dumped out of the Rugby World Cup by New Zealand.

Cullen has made a number of changes from the team that accounted for Dragons last week in the RDS and also welcomes back six players that were away in Japan with Ireland.

Hugo Keenan has returned to the starting XV as he has recovered from the ankle injury picked up in the away win against Zebre, while Adam Byrne comes in on the right wing and James Lowe continues on the left.

Joe Tomane comes in at 12 this week with Robbie Henshaw making his first appearance of the season in blue outside him.

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Another to make his seasonal bow is Luke McGrath who starts at scrumhalf with Ross Byrne at ten beside him.

In the pack Cian Healy and Andrew Porter come back in to the side, with Rónan Kelleher again selected at hooker.

Devin Toner is in the second row with captain Scott Fardy completing the tight five.

In the back row Josh Murphy, Will Connors and Max Deegan are the trio selected by Cullen to take on Connacht, who lie second in Conference B of the Guinness PRO14.

On the bench there is a welcome return from a neck injury for Ed Byrne, while Rhys Ruddock and Rob Kearney are the final two players involved with Ireland during the recent Rugby World Cup in Japan to be included.

Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):

15. Hugo Keenan (9)
14. Adam Byrne (54)
13. Robbie Henshaw (37)
12. Joe Tomane (17)
11. James Lowe (33)
10. Ross Byrne (75)
9. Luke McGrath (113)
1. Cian Healy (208)
2. Rónan Kelleher (6)
3. Andrew Porter (53)
4. Devin Toner (235)
5. Scott Fardy (47) CAPTAIN
6. Josh Murphy (25)
7. Will Connors (8)
8. Max Deegan (51)

16. James Tracy (97)
17. Ed Byrne (45)
18. Michael Bent (129)
19. Ross Molony (87)
20. Rhys Ruddock (161)
21. Jamison Gibson-Park (75)
22. Ciarán Frawley (15)
23. Rob Kearney (210)

Referee: Sean Gallagher (IRFU)

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Six Ireland players named in Leinster 23 for Connacht