Leinster name their team to take on Toulouse at the RDS
Devin Toner’s ankle problem has also not healed in time to make the 23 man squad
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen is without a number of his key players for Saturday’s match against Toulouse. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Leinster will be without a host of frontline players for Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup game against Toulouse at the RDS (Kick-off 1.00pm - live on Virgin Media, BT sport).
World Player of the Year, outhalf and captain, Jonathan Sexton, Rob Kearney, Devin Toner and Dan Leavy are all missing through injury while Robbie Henshaw hasn’t recovered in time from a hamstring injury sustained in the warm-up ahead of Ireland’s game against Argentina in November. James Lowe is suspended.
Leinster provided a medical bulletin on the absentees. Rob Kearney picked up “a low grade quad injury” in training during the week. Dan Leavy “picked up a calf injury in training” while Sexton continues to rehabilitate “a tendon issue in his knee and is progressing well.” Toner (ankle) is progressing well while Henshaw (hamstring) “has returned to full training having passed his objective markers.”
Jordan Larmour is named at fullback while Dave Kearney, who pulled out of the Munster game with an adductor strain just prior to kickoff, is named on the left wing with Adam Byrne on the other flank. Rory O’Loughlin will partner Garry Ringrose in the centre with Ross Byrne at outhalf in place of the injured Sexton.
Scott Fardy is named in the secondrow alongside James Ryan with Rhys Ruddock captaining the side from blindside flanker. Ross Molony, Max Deegan and Noel Reid are included among the replacements as in Conor O’Brien, the Westmeath born centre having been added to the European squad this week. Ed Byrne is preferred to Jack McGrath, the latter having just returned from injury.
Toulouse have made five changes and a couple of positional switches from the team that beat Leinster 28-27 in round two in October. Maxime Medard, who scored two tries that day, shifts from wing to fullback, Yoann Huget starts on the left wing, while Thomas Ramos moves to outhalf from fullback. Antoine Dupont comes in at scrumhalf.
Australian Richie Arnold comes into the secondrow, while former All Black Jerome Kaino and Francois Cros are the changes to the backrow from the first match.
Leinster: J Larmour; A Byrne, G Ringrose, R O’Loughlin, D Kearney; R Byrne, L McGrath; C Healy, S Cronin, T Furlong; S Fardy, J Ryan; R Ruddock (capt), J van der Flier, J Conan.
Replacements: J Tracy, E Byrne, A Porter, R Molony, M Deegan, J Gibson-Park, N Reid, C O’Brien.
Toulouse: Maxime Médard; Cheslin Kolbe, Sofiane Guitoune, Romain Ntamack, Yoann Huget; Thomas Ramos, Antoine Dupont; Clément Castets, Julien Marchand (Capt), Charlie Faumuina; Richie Arnold, Joe Tekori; Francois Cros, Rynhardt Elstadt, Jerome Kaino.
Replacements: Peato Mauvaka, Cyril Baille, Dorian Aldegheri, Piula Faasalele, Louis Madaule, Alban Placines, Sébastien Bézy, Zack Holmes.