Leinster’s big guns line out for trip to Lyon

Rob Kearney makes his first start for the province since returning from World Cup

Leinster’s Rob Kearney will start in their Champions Cup clash with Lyon. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Leinster’s Rob Kearney will start in their Champions Cup clash with Lyon. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

 

Heineken Champions Cup: Lyon v Leinster

Kick-off: 3.15pm (Irish time), Saturday. Venue: Matmut Stadium de Gerland. How to follow: The Irish Times liveblog will begin at 2.45pm. On TV: Live on BT Sport.

Rob Kearney will make his first start for Leinster against Lyon on Saturday since returning to action following Ireland’s Rugby World Cup disappointment.

After picking up a bonus point win over Benetton Rugby in their Champions Cup opener last weekend, Leo Cullen has made a number of changes to his starting lineup.

Jordan Larmour has moved to the right wing with James Lowe continuing on the left.

Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose are paired together for the first time this season in the centre, with Luke McGrath and captain Johnny Sexton continuing as the half back pairing.

In the pack Cian Healy and Rónan Kelleher are retained from the starting XV last week, with Tadhg Furlong returning from a back injury to start at tight head.

James Ryan is again selected in the second row, with Scott Fardy winning his 50th cap as his partner for the trip to France.

Amongst the replacements former Newbridge College pupil James Tracy is in line to win his 100th cap should he be introduced. The 28-year-old Irish international hooker made his Leinster debut off the bench in November 2012 against the Ospreys and has won six international caps since then for Ireland as well as two Guinness Pro14 titles and a Heineken Champions Cup title in 2018.

Josh Murphy is in line to make his European debut off the bench. The Wexford native has 26 caps to his name already in the Guinness Pro14 but the game tomorrow is his first involvement in a European match day squad.

Leinster: Rob Kearney; Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (C), Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, Rónan Kelleher, Tadhg Furlong; Scott Fardy, James Ryan, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Max Deegan.

Replacements: James Tracy, Ed Byrne, Andrew Porter, Devin Toner, Josh Murphy, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ross Byrne, Dave Kearney.

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