Champions Cup final: Leinster player profiles

John O’Sullivan runs the rule over Leo Cullen’s men ahead of their date with destiny

Robbie Henshaw starts in midfield for Leinster against Racing 92. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Robbie Henshaw starts in midfield for Leinster against Racing 92. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

 

15 Rob Kearney

Age: 32
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 90kg (14st 2lbs) He has excelled for province and country this season given an extended run without injury. He’ll be an integral part of Leinster’s aerial game and in carrying ball from deep. It’s been a while since he’s landed a trademark, long range drop goal.

14 Jordan Larmour

Age: 20
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 89kg (14st)
Fantastic footwork and balance, he is a real attacking threat, and it’ll be interesting t see if Leinster use him in less orthodox fashion, running off Jonathan Sexton or appearing in the midfield where he could cause havoc.

13 Garry Ringrose

Age: 23
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 92kg (14st 6lbs)
There is a feline grace to the way he carries ball in attack and the angles he runs. He is such an intelligent footballer and in tandem with his midfield partner will have a big say in the outcome. He’ll need to be sharp in defence up against Virimi Vakatawa.

12 Robbie Henshaw

Age: 24
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 95kg (14st 13lbs)
His performance in the semi-final was little short of astonishing given the speed with which he rehabilitated from shoulder surgery. His consistent excellence marks him as a special player.

11 Isa Nacewa (capt)

Age: 35
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 88kg (13st 12lbs)
He might not have quite the zip of yore but remains the team’s moral compass in attitude and application, asking more of himself than his team-mates. He’ll have his hands full with Teddy Thomas and it’ll be interesting to see how he goes about defending the opposition’s marquee name.

10 Jonathan Sexton

Age: 32
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 92kg (14st 6lbs)
He’s been outstanding for club and country, particularly in the big matches, and will look to reprise that level of performance in controlling the game while retaining that ferocity in defence.

9 Luke McGrath

Age: 25
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 83kg (13st 1lb)
He’s back after missing the semi-final and if his ankle holds up is a real threat around the fringes and in linking the play. If he is close to his sharpest he’s another who should have a pivotal impact.

James Ryan during Friday’s captain’s run in Bilbao. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
James Ryan during Friday’s captain’s run in Bilbao. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

1 Cian Healy

Age: 30
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 110kg (17st 4lbs)
Injury free, he’s back to his best. He can win collisions but as opponents have discovered his footwork going into contact can embarrass the unwary.

2 Seán Cronin

Age: 32
Height: 6’
Weight: 99kg (15st 8lbs)
He’ll be looking to extend Leinster’s proud record of a 100 per cent record out of touch in the knockout stage of the competition while demonstrating his jet-heeled athleticism in open play.

3 Tadhg Furlong

Age: 25
Height: 6’
Weight: 119kg (18st 10lbs)
Leinster supporters would dearly love to see him swatting aside tacklers and barging his way over the gain-line while providing his traditional power in the scrum.

4 Devin Toner

Age: 31
Height: 6’ 11”
Weight: 120kg (18st 12lbs)
The lineout is a unit skill but it needs a leader and he is one par excellence. Racing will pose a significant challenge here and given it’s a launch-pad for Leinster strike plays he’ll be keen to win the mental chess battle.

5 James Ryan

Age: 21
Height: 6’7”
Weight: 107kg (16st 11lbs)
A phenomenal athlete, the maturity of his decision making in attack and defence for one so young is striking and an inspiration for those around him.

6 Scott Fardy

Age: 33
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 114kg (17st 13lbs)
The Australian has been a huge player for Leinster this season and they’ll need him to be at his imperious best. He’s added a different dimension to the pack with his athleticism and work ethic.

7 Dan Leavy

Age: 23
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 104kg (16st 5lbs)
He plays the game without inhibition and with a singularity of purpose whether carrying, tackling, getting in over the ball at the breakdown or linking up in broken play; a brilliant player.

8 Jordi Murphy

Age: 27
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 106kg (16st 9lbs)
Another player who’s had a wonderful year and one who epitomises selflessness on behalf of the team no matter what chore he turns his attention to during the 80-minutes.

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