Harry Byrne at outhalf as Leinster name team to play La Rochelle in Champions Cup

Champions Cup teams wrap: Munster make six changes for game against Glasgow Warriors

Leinster have chosen nine of the team that started last season’s Champions Cup final as they look for revenge on La Rochelle in the pool stage on Sunday in Stade Marcel Deflandre (3.15pm KO Irish time).

Garry Ringrose and James Ryan co-captain the team for the first time in European competition. Hugo Keenan starts at fullback, with Jordan Larmour and Jimmy O’Brien named on the wings.

Ringrose is joined by Robbie Henshaw in the centre, with Harry Byrne and Jamison Gibson-Park completing the backline. Byrne is set to make his first start in the Champions Cup, following seven previous appearances from the bench.

In the pack, Sheehan is joined in the frontrow by Andrew Porter and Michael Ala’alatoa. Ryan packs down with Joe McCarthy in the second row, for the first time in an away European match.


After starting in the second row last week, Ryan Baird moves into the backrow where he is joined by Will Connors and Caelan Doris. Connors is set for his first European appearance in over three years.

Among the replacements, prop Thomas Clarkson and scrumhalf Ben Murphy are set to make their Champions Cup debuts.

Leinster: Hugo Keenan; Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Jimmy O’Brien; Harry Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Michael Ala’alatoa; Joe McCarthy, James Ryan; Ryan Baird, Will Connors, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Rónan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Thomas Clarkson, Jason Jenkins, Josh van der Flier, Ben Murphy, Ciarán Frawley, Charlie Ngatai.

Referee: Matthew Carley (RFU)

Tadhg Beirne will be captain as the Munster team has been announced to play Bayonne at Thomond Park on Saturday (5.30pm KO).

There are six changes to the starting XV from last week’s win over Glasgow Warriors at Musgrave Park, with winger Shay McCarthy starting on his Champions Cup debut.

Rory Scannell, Conor Murray, Scott Buckley, John Ryan and Fineen Wycherley also come into the side.

Calvin Nash starts at fullback for Munster for the first time, Tom Ahern makes his first Champions Cup start and Alex Nankivell makes his Champions Cup debut.

Fullback Nash is joined in the back three by wingers McCarthy and Seán O’Brien, who makes his first Champions Cup appearance for Munster.

Scannell and Nankivell start together in midfield with Murray and Jack Crowley in the halfbacks.

Jeremy Loughman, Buckley and John Ryan pack down in the front row with Wycherley and captain Beirne in the engine room.

Ahern, John Hodnett and Gavin Coombes start together in the back row for the third game in succession.

Eoghan Clarke, who recently rejoined the province on a short-term contract, is among the replacements and is in line to make his Munster debut.

Outhalf Tony Butler and full-back/winger Ben O’Connor are also included with O’Connor set to make his Champions Cup debut.

Jack O’Donoghue returns from an ankle injury to take his place among the replacements.

Munster: Calvin Nash; Shay McCarthy, Alex Nankivell, Rory Scannell, Seán O’Brien; Jack Crowley, Conor Murray; Jeremy Loughman, Scott Buckley, John Ryan; Fineen Wycherley, Tadhg Beirne (C); Tom Ahern, John Hodnett, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Eoghan Clarke, Josh Wycherley, Stephen Archer, Jack O’Donoghue, Alex Kendellen, Craig Casey, Tony Butler, Ben O’Connor.

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