Ryan Baird named in Leinster XV as Munster duo set for debut

Damian de Allende and RG Snyman named in Munster team for Aviva Stadium clash

Johnny Sexton will captain Leinster against Munster as professional rugby returns to Ireland on Saturday at the Aviva Stadium (kick-off 7.35pm - live on eir Sport).

This Pro14 clash will be Leinster's first game since February when they accounted for Glasgow Warriors at the RDS Arena and head coach Leo Cullen has selected Jordan Larmour, Dave Kearney and James Lowe as his back three with Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose in the centre. Sexton will captain the team with Luke McGrath alongside him at scrumhalf.

In the pack Cian Healy and Andrew Porter start at loosehead and tighthead with Rónan Kelleher at hooker. Ryan Baird is involved for the first time against Munster having previously played against Ulster (his debut) and Connacht. It is also his first start in an inter-provincial game. Baird will be joined by Scott Fardy in the secondrow.

In the backrow, Caelan Doris starts at blindside flanker for the first time for Leinster, with Josh van der Flier at openside. Jack Conan plays for the first time this season having recovered from an ankle injury picked up at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. His last game for Leinster was last season's Pro14 Final.


It will also be Munster’s first game in six months with new signings Damian de Allende and RG Snyman both starting on their debuts.

Shane Daly makes his fifth start at fullback in his 18th appearance for the province with Ireland internationals Andrew Conway and Keith Earls on either flank. De Allende is partnered in the centre by Chris Farrell with Conor Murray and JJ Hanrahan in the halfbacks.

James Cronin, Niall Scannell and Stephen Archer start in the frontrow with Snyman and Billy Holland in the engine room. The side is completed by the backrow of captain Peter O'Mahony, Tommy O'Donnell and CJ Stander.

Jack O’Donoghue is not available for selection this weekend having sustained a concussion at training this week.

LEINSTER: Jordan Larmour; Dave Kearney, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (Capt), Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, Rónan Kelleher, Andrew Porter; Ryan Baird, Scott Fardy; Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.

Replacements: Seán Cronin, Ed Byrne, Michael Bent, Devin Toner, Will Connors, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ross Byrne, Max Deegan.

MUNSTER: Shane Daly; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Keith Earls; JJ Hanrahan, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; RG Snyman, Billy Holland; Peter O'Mahony (Capt), Tommy O'Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Chris Cloete, Craig Casey, Rory Scannell, Matt Gallagher.

Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU)