Brian returns to start after a shoulder injury

Brian O’Driscoll will make his first appearance for Leinster after making significant progress in recent weeks following injury and he will partner fellow Ireland international Fergus McFadden at centre for the visit of the Ospreys at the RDS (KO: 7.05pm).

Isaac Boss links up with Ian Madigan at half back with David Kearney forming a lively back three alongside Luke Fitzgerald – who is set to make his 99th provincial appearance – and full-back Isa Nacewa.

Up front, Leo Cullen will captain the side for the first time since January after recovering from Achilles surgery and he will lock down with All Black World Cup winner Brad Thorn who makes his debut after signing a short-term deal with the province recently.

Rhys Ruddock joins fellow Leinster Academy graduate Dominic Ryan as well as number eight Leo Auva’a in the back-row.

Sean Cronin is one of eight Irish qualified players named on the bench including the likes of Kevin McLaughlin and Eoin O’Malley.

Starting XV:
15: Isa Nacewa
14: David Kearney
13: Brian O’Driscoll
12: Fergus McFadden
11: Luke Fitzgerald
10: Ian Madigan
9: Isaac Boss
1: Heinke van der Merwe
2: Richardt Strauss
3: Nathan White
4: Leo Cullen (C)
5: Brad Thorn
6: Rhys Ruddock
7: Dominic Ryan
8: Leo Auva’a

Replacements:
16: Sean Cronin
17: Jack McGrath
18: Jamie Hagan
19: Damian Browne
20: Kevin McLaughlin
21: John Cooney
22: Eoin O’Malley
23: Fionn Carr

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