Leinster name Madigan and Sexton to face Biarritz
Madigan replaces injured D’Arcy in midfield for semi-final clash
Ian Madigan has been named at inside centre in the Leinster side to take on Biarritz. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Leinster coach Joe Schmidt has solved the conundrum of who to pick at outhalf for Saturday’s Amlin Cup semi-final clash against Biarritz by naming Ian Madigan at inside centre for the game at the RDS.
Madigan replaces the injured Gordon D’Arcy from the quarter-final victory over Wasps, with Jonathan Sexton returning at outhalf following his recovery from a leg injury.
Fergus McFadden moves from outside centre to the right wing in place of the injured Dave Kearney in the other backline switch from the 48-28 victory at Adams Park at the start of the month, with Brian O’Driscoll returningin midfield alongside Madigan.
There is one change in the pack from the victory over Wasps, with Shane Jennings taking over at openside flanker from Seán O’Brien, who failed a late fitness test on a calf injury, while Leo Cullen leads the side from the secondrow.
Biarritz make five changes from their 41-31 victory away to Gloucester in the quarter-finals.
Welsh international Aled Brew comes in on the left wing, with Teddy Thomas moving to the bench despite scoring two tries at Kingsholm.
The French side have changed both their props, with Thomas Synaeghel replacing Eugene van Staden at loosehead and former Wales tighthead Ben Broster coming in for Francisco Gomez Kodela.
Samoan lock Pelu Taele takes over from Mathias Marie, with the final change seeing Thibault Dubarry replace Tanguy Molcard at blindside flanker.
French star Imanol Harinordoquy will lead the side from number eight.
LEINSTER (v Biarritz, Saturday, RDS, 2.30pm): Rob Kearney; Fergus McFadden, Brian O’Driscoll, Ian Madigan, Isa Nacewa; Jonathan Sexton, Isaac Boss; Cian Healy, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross, Leo Cullen (Capt), Devin Toner, Kevin McLaughlin, Shane Jennings, Jamie Heaslip. Replacements: Seán Cronin, Jack McGrath, Jamie Hagan, Quinn Roux, Rhys Ruddock, John Cooney, Andrew Goodman, Andrew Conway.
BIARRITZ: Marcelo Bosch; Takudzwa Ngwenya, Benoit Baby, Damien Traille, Aled Brew; Jean-Pascal Barraque, Dimitri Yachvili; Thomas Synaeghel, Arnaud Heguy, Ben Broster, Erik Lund, Pelu Taele, Thibault Dubarry, Raphael Lakafia, Imanol Harinordoquy (capt). Replacements: Benoit August, Eugene van Staden, Francisco Gomez Kodela, Wenceslas Lauret, Mathias Marie, Yann Lesgourgues, Seremaia Burotu, Teddy Thomas.