Johnny Sexton returns to captain Leinster against Saracens

Visitors have opted to start Alex Goode at outhalf in the absence of Owen Farrell

Johnny Sexton returns to start for Leinster against Saracens. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Johnny Sexton returns to start for Leinster against Saracens. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

 

Champions Cup quarter-finals: Leinster v Saracens, Saturday September 18th, Aviva Stadium (kick-off 3pm, BT Sport 2)

Johnny Sexton will captain Leinster in Saturday’s Champions Cup quarter-final clash with Saracens, which will be played behind closed doors at the Aviva Stadium.

Sexton started last weekend’s Pro14 final win over Ulster on the bench, but along with halfback partner Luke McGrath he is reinstated to the starting XV.

Jordan Larmour earns his 50th provincial cap from 15, with James Lowe and Hugo Keenan on the wings. Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose form an elite midfield.

Seán Cronin gets the nod ahead of Ronan Kelleher at hooker and joins Cian Healy and Andrew Porter in the frontrow, with Devin Toner and James Ryan in the engine room.

Will Connors will make his European debut in the backrow, where he is joined by Caelan Doris and Jack Conan.

Meanwhile visitors Saracens have opted to start Alex Goode at outhalf in the absence of Owen Farrell. This means Elliot Daly will start at fullback with Duncan Taylor slotting into midfield.

Mako Vunipola is also fit to start, while Richard Wigglesworth gets the nod at scrumhalf.

Leinster: Jordan Larmour; Hugo Keenan, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton, Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, Seán Cronin, Andrew Porter; Devin Toner, James Ryan; Caelan Doris, Will Connors, Jack Conan. Replacements: Rónan Kelleher, Ed Byrne, Michael Bent, Ryan Baird, Josh van der Flier, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ross Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin.

Saracens: Elliot Daly; Alex Lewington, Duncan Taylor, Brad Barritt (capt), Sean Maitland; Alex Goode, Richard Wigglesworth; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Vincent Koch; Maro Itoje, Tim Swinson; Michael Rhodes, Jackson Wray, Billy Vunipola. Replacements: Tom Woolstencroft, Richard Barrington, Alec Clarey, Callum Hunter-Hill, Calum Clark, Aled Davies, Manu Vunipola, Dominic Morris,

Referee: Pascal Gaüzère (FFR)

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