Earls returns as Erasmus names experimental side for Leinster clash

The interprovincial clash kicks off at 2pm

The interprovincial clash kicks off at 2pm

Irish international and Munster’s star winger, Keith Earls, will make his first appearance of the season in the side’s opening interprovincal game at the Aviva Stadium.

Earls has recovered from injury and is named to start in the No.11 jersey, in an experimental Munster side which sees three recognised out-halves named in the back-line.

Ian Keatley is named at 10, with Tyler Bleyendaal and Chris Farrell making up the centre pairing.

While JJ Hanrahan is given a start at full-back after an impressive cameo appearance where he scored two tries in his last outing against the Cardiff Blues.

Rassie Eramus has kept faith with the same pack which dominated Cardiff.

Leinster are missing Jamie Heaslip, Gary Ringrose and Rob Kearney due to injury, but welcome the return of Robbie Henshaw, who like Earls features for the first time this season after requiring surgery for a torn pectoral muscle suffered on the British and Irish Lions tour.

Johnny Sexton starts at out-half for his side and is now just five points away from becoming the province’s all-time highest points scorer.

Munster currently lie second in Conference A and will be hoping to end their first clash with Irish opposition with a victory. Kick-off is Saturday at 2pm.

Munster: 15. JJ. Hanrahan; 14 A. Conway, 13. C. Farrell, 12. T. Bleyendaal, 11. K. Earls; 10. I. Keatley, 9. C. Murray; 1. D. Kilcoyne, 2. N Scannell, 3. J. Ryan; 4. R. Copeland, 5. B. Holland; 6. P. O’Mahony, 7. T. O’Donnell, 8. CJ. Stander.

Replacements: R. Marshall, L. O’Connor, S. Archer, M. Flanagan, J. O’Donoghue, D. Williams, R. Scannell, A. Wootton.

Leinster: 15. J. Carbery; 14. A. Byrne; 13. R. O’Loughlin; 12. R. Henshaw; 11. B. Daly; 10. J. Sexton; 9. L. McGrath; 1. J. McGrath; 2. J. Tracy; 3. T. Furlong; 4. D. Toner; 5. S. Fardy; 6. R. Ruddock;  7. J. van der Flier; 8. J. Conan.

Replacements: S. Cronin, C. Healy, M. Bent, R. Molony, J. Murphy, J. Gibson-Park, R. Byrne, F. McFadden

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