James Ryan returns to the Leinster fold for Benetton clash

Ireland secondrow has recovered from calf injury in time for Champions Cup pool finale

James Ryan returns to the Leinster XV for Saturday’s clash with Benetton. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

James Ryan returns to the Leinster XV for Saturday’s clash with Benetton. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Champions Cup Pool One: Benetton Treviso v Leinster, Saturday January 18th, Stadio Comunale di Monigo (kick-off 1pm, BT Sports)

James Ryan is fit again and has been named in the Leinster XV for Saturday’s Champions Cup trip to play Benetton Treviso.

With the four-time winners looking to cement a top-two seeding - and with it a home quarter-final and potential semi-final - Leo Cullen has named a strong side for the trip to Italy.

The province’s backline remains unchanged following last weekend’s 42-14 bonus-point win over Lyon in Dublin. Jordan Larmour retains the 15 jersey and is joined in the back three by Dave Kearney and James Lowe.

Ireland duo Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose resume in midfield, with Ross Byrne and matchday captain Luke McGrath in the halfbacks.

Cullen has made a number of changes up front, with Andrew Porter starting in the frontrow alongside Cian Healy and Sean Cronin.

Ryan is reunited with Devin Toner in the engine room while Caelin Doris returns at number eight, with Max Deegan moving to six and Josh Van der Flier named at seven.

Leinster: Jordan Larmour; Dave Kearney, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath (capt); Cian Healy, Sean Cronin, Andrew Porter, Devin Toner, James Ryan, Max Deegan, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris. Replacements: James Tracy, Peter Dooley, Tadhg Furlong, Ross Molony, Rhys Ruddock, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ciaran Frawley, Rob Kearney.

Benetton: Jayden Hayward; Angelo Esposito, Luca Morisi, Marco Zanon, Monty Ioane; Ian Keatley, Tito Tebaldi; Federico Zani, Hame Faiva, Simone Ferrari, Alessandro Zanni, Eli Snyman, Marco Barbini (capt), Braam Steyn, Toa Halafihi. Replacements: Tomas Baravalle, Nicola Quaglio, Cherif Traore, Ira Herbst, Giovanni Pettinelli, Marco Lazzaroni, Antonio Rizzi, Tommaso Benvenuti.

Referee: Karl Dickson (England)

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