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Published: 14:46 | 25/3/16

Fitzgerald returns for Connacht clash

Winger to make 150th Leinster appearance

Luke Fitzgerald will return to action in Leinster's top-of-the-table Pro12 clash away to Connacht on Saturday night.

A medial ligament injury prevented Fitzgerald from taking part in Ireland's Six Nations campaign but he has recovered sufficiently to make his 150th Leinster appearance against the league leaders.

Skipper Isa Nacewa, starting at full-back due to Fergus McFadden's inclusion on the wing, will mark his 100th appearance for the Dublin-based side.

Cian Healy, Richardt Strauss and Tadhg Furlong make up the front row, with Josh van der Flier and Rhys Ruddock returning from the Ireland camp to join Dominic Ryan in the back row.

However, internationals Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Jamie Heaslip and Eoin Reddan sit amongst the substitutes.

Leinster XV v Connacht: Isa Nacewa; Fergus McFadden, Garry Ringrose, Ben Te'o, Luke Fitzgerald; Ian Madigan, Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, Richardt Strauss, Tadhg Furlong; Ross Molony, Hayden Triggs; Dominic Ryan, Josh van der Flier, Rhys Ruddock.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Jamie Heaslip, Eoin Reddan, Noel Reid, Zane Kirchner.

For hosts Connacht, meanwhile, Peter Robb comes into the backs for his debut, whilst Nathan White returns from his Six Nations work to take a place in the pack.

Ultan Dillane, however, will not feature due to a shoulder injury that he sustained on Ireland duty.

Connacht XV v Leinster: Tiernan O'Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun, Bundee Aki, Peter Robb, Matt Healy; AJ MacGinty, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Nathan White; Quinn Roux , Aly Muldowney; Sean O'Brien, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon.

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Ronan Loughney, Finlay Bealham, Andrew Browne, Eoin McKeon, Caolin Blade, Shane O'Leary, Robbie Henshaw.

Connacht top the Pro12 standings, with Leinster a point behind, ahead of Saturday’s encounter at the Galway Sportsgrounds.

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