Champions Cup final: Leinster player profiles

Johnny Watterson runs the rule over the Leinster XV bidding to defend their crown

Tadhg Furlong takes on Lions teammate Mako Vunipola on Saturday. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Tadhg Furlong takes on Lions teammate Mako Vunipola on Saturday. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

 

15 Rob Kearney

Age: 33
Height: 6’1’’
Weight: 95kg/15st 0lbs
Minutes: 221
Points: 0

If Saracens kick high as they did against Munster, they won’t aim towards Kearney. Excellent positioning, a trusted head who gives confidence.

14 Jordan Larmour

Age: 21
Height: 5’ 10’’
Weight: 90kg/14st 1lb
Minutes: 640
Points: 10

The only player with Leinster to play 80 minutes in every match. His have a go attitude and quick feet often bedazzle. Acutely dangerous in space.

13 Garry Ringrose

Age: 24
Height: 6’2’’
Weight: 95kg/15st
Minutes: 630
Points: 5

Brilliant defensively in a difficult position. He has pace and a step which gets him yards. A real cutting edge in the Leinster centre.

Garry Ringrose starts in midfield for Leinster against Saracens. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Garry Ringrose starts in midfield for Leinster against Saracens. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

12 Robbie Henshaw

Age: 25
Height: 6’3’’
Weight: 103kg/16st 3lbs
Minutes: 288
Points: 5

The contrast with Ringrose makes a strong pairing. More physical though. Mobile, a yard getter in heavy traffic and solid in fringe defence.

11 James Lowe

Age: 26
Height: 6’1’’
Weight: 101kg/15st 13lbs
Minutes: 400
Points: 20

Defence has improved. But he’s picked for his instinct for the ball and for the try line. Plays with a street fighter’s edge and a huge team lifter too.

10 Johnny Sexton

Age: 33
Height: 6’2’’
Weight: 92kg/14st 6lbs
Minutes: 348
Points: 48

An outcome influencer supreme. Likes tackling, argues with officials, gets pitch position, kicks the points, tackles hard. A commander-in-chief.

Johnny Sexton ahead of Leinster’s Champions Cup final clash with Saracens. Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty
Johnny Sexton ahead of Leinster’s Champions Cup final clash with Saracens. Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty

9 Luke McGrath

Age: 26
Height: 5’ 9’’
Weight: 82kg/12st 12lbs
Minutes: 469
Points: 15

One of a handful of St Michaels College players on Saturday. Keeps the game high tempo as Leinster prefers. An all round scrumhalf with a try scoring nose.

1 Cian Healy

Age: 31
Height: 6’1’’
Weight: 112kg/17st 8lbs
Minutes: 422
Points: 0

Strong in the scrum and a fierce defensive presence. Explosive player on the ball and has good footwork to compliment his raw power.

2 Sean Cronin

Age: 33
Height: 5’11
Weight: 101kg/15st 12lbs
Minutes: 441
Points: 30

Six tries is astonishing for a hooker. Throwing can be wayward but in space or peeling off the back of the maul he’s value for money every time.

3 Tadhg Furlong

Age: 26
Height: 6’1’’
Weight: 119kg/18st 10lbs
Minutes: 461
Points: 0

A modern prop who can scrummage with the best and has the mobility to take the ball on and off load. Barnstorming ability and usually a high tackle count.

4 Devin Toner

Age: 32
Height: 6’10’’
Weight: 124kg/19st 7lb
Minutes: 432
Points: 0

Runs the lineout and has won more ball there than any Leinster player. He is also an effective ball carrier and chief conductor in attacking mauls.

5 James Ryan

Age: 22
Height: 6’7’’
Weight: 113kg/17st 11lbs
Minutes: 625
Points: 5

Heads the tackle count (123) and carry count (120) - more than any other player on both teams. He’s a gem doing that and Saracens know it.

Scott Fardy is named in the Leinster backrow for the Champions Cup final. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Scott Fardy is named in the Leinster backrow for the Champions Cup final. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

6 Scott Fardy

Age: 34
Height: 6’6’’
Weight: 114kg/17st 12lbs
Minutes: 287
Points: 5

The Australian’s tough, streetwise all round game has often made him Leinster’s best player. Brings big game know how and experience.

7 Seán O’Brien

Age: 32
Height: 6’2’’
Weight: 108kg/16st 13lbs
Minutes: 441
Points: 5

His last European game with Leinster, the dynamic flanker will be out to prove he’s still one of the best loose forwards. Watch this space.

8 Jack Conan

Age: 26
Height: 6’4’’
Weight: 111/17st 6lbs
Minutes: 496
Points: 10

Battled his way into the position and has made it his. A dynamic carrier, he gives Leinster go forward ball and is another who knows where the line is.

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