Leinster coach Leo Cullen has named a strong starting XV to take on the Wasps on Friday night at the RDS in their opening round game of the Champions Cup. The team sees a lot of changes from the side that got the better of provincial rivals Munster last weekend in the Guinness Pro 14.
Leinster who are the current European Champions have once again shown the strenght in depth they have by naming only 6 players that started that fine win over Munster at the Aviva last weekend. Indeed Rob Kearney, Robbie Henshaw and James Lowe are the only backs to remain the side from that win, while the forwards there is also a lot of changes, with Devin Toner, Dan Leavy and James Ryan the only players to keep their places in a star studded line up.
The team itself will see Ireland’s Six Nations hero Johnny Sexton return to fly half, where he will partnered by Luke McGrath at scrum half. Jordan Larmour comes in to replace the experienced Fergus McFadden on the wing, while Garry Ringrose is also named to start along side Robbie Henshaw in midfield in an exciting partnership. The front row is where Cullen has opted to change all, in comes Cian Healy, Sean Cronin and Tadgh Furlong and out goes Michael Bent, James Tracy and Jack McGrath, Tracy and McGrath however are on the bench for the game and probably will get game time in my opinion. Josh Van Der Flier, Jack Conan and Dan Leavy are also all named to start. This means that Sean O’Brien drops back to the bench but again should see game time for the Blues.
Leinster: Rob Kearney; Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (C), Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, Seán Cronin, Tadhg Furlong; Devin Toner, James Ryan; Dan Leavy, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.
Subs: James Tracy, Jack McGrath, Andrew Porter, Scott Fardy, Seán O’Brien, Nick McCarthy, Ross Byrne, Joe Tomane.