Sexton returns as Leo Cullen makes nine changes for Munster showdown

Leinster could end the weekend at the top of the table

pro 12, rugby, leinster, munster, aviva stadium, dublin

Jonathan Sexton Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Gary Carr

Leo Cullen has named his squad for Saturday's Pro12 clash with Munster in the Aviva Stadium. There are nine changes and two positional changes in total to the starting XV that started last weekend against Connacht.

With Zane Kirchner coming in at full back, captain Isa Nacewa moves to the right wing with Dave Kearney also coming back into the equation on the left wing, winning his 98th cap for Leinster.

It is the same midfield combination of Ben Te'o and Garry Ringrose, but there are two new half backs in Eoin Reddan, who lines up against his former club, and Johnny Sexton who returns for his first Pro12 game since the Ospreys in January.

There are five changes in total in the pack with two of these in the front row as Jack McGrath and Sean Cronin start alongside Tadhg Furlong. Like Reddan, Cronin starts against his former team for whom he played on two occasions before joining Leinster.

Devin Toner comes in to partner Hayden Triggs in the second row, while in the back row Rhys Ruddock is again selected but moves from number eight to blind side flanker. Jordi Murphy comes in at open side to win his 75th Leinster cap while Jamie Heaslip completes the pack from number eight.

Leinster team and replacements face Munster:

(15-9): Zane Kirchner, Isa Nacewa (capt), Garry Ringrose,  Ben Te'o, Dave Kearney, Johnny Sexton, Eoin Reddan.

(1-8): Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner, Hayden Triggs, Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements (16-23): Richardt Strauss, Cian Healy, Mike Ross, Ross Molony, Josh van der Flier, Luke McGrath, Ian Madigan, Fergus McFadden.